(ORDO NEWS) — Ten billion years ago, two neutron stars crashed into each other and fired, a quintillion times brighter than our Sun.
Since then, the afterglow from the collision — the gamma-ray burst (SGRB) —was moving through the universe at the speed of light. Astronomers on Earth managed to witness his arrival.
The Neil Gerles Swift Orbital Observatory was the first to spot a distant glow, the oldest gamma-ray burst ever seen. Scientists who followed him quickly aimed the Gemini telescope in Hawaii, astronomers in Arizona and Chile did the same with their instruments.
The observed explosion actually occurred when the Universe was at a young age, less than 4 billion years after the Big Bang.
Researchers believe that powerful gamma-ray bursts are the most energetic form of light, and SGRB181123B is the farthest optical afterglow gamma-ray burst ever detected.
According to a study published Tuesday in the Astrophysical Journal, fusion of neutron stars and the ensuing explosion took only a couple of hours.
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