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Discovery

Search Is on for Hot Young Stars

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Composite image of supernova remnant W49B showing a barrel-shaped nebula.

A composite image of the supernova remnant W49B reveals a barrel-shaped nebula. One of the final events in the creation of this supernova remnant would have been a gamma-ray burst. A suggested chain of events begins when a star collapses and forms a black hole. Gas around it is pulled into it, but some is flung away, driving a shock wave back into the cloud.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SSC/J. Keohane et al.; Infrared: Caltech/SSC/J.Rho and T. Jarrett


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Series of Hubble Space Telescope images, labeled A Supernova in GRB 011121

On Nov. 21, 2001, a burst of gamma rays was detected. The series of Hubble Space Telescope images show the fading transient lies to the right of a fuzzy, distant galaxy, likely home to the gamma-ray burster. The transient did not not simply fade away though. Instead, it brightened up again days after the burst. This is evidence that at least some gamma-ray bursts are produced when a star dies.

Credit: S. Kulkarni, J. Bloom, P. Price, Caltech - NRAO GRB Collaboration


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (59 KB)

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