SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Gamma Blast, Nebula Dust, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Gamma Blast, Nebula Dust, More
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February 10, 2009--A stellar fireworks show is staged 30,000 light-years away by a rare type of neutron star called a soft-gamma-ray repeater.

The image, captured by NASA's Swift satellite and Fermi's Gamma-ray Space Telescope, shows x-ray and gamma-ray flares shooting from the object, which can emit more total energy in one flare than the sun does in 20 years.

A neutron star is the superdense remnant of an exploded star.

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— Photograph courtesy NASA/Swift/Jules Halpern (Columbia University)
 
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