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Scientists are studying a strange burst--possibly a gamma ray explosion--discovered this month by NASA; the burst is believed to have occurred 440 million light-years away near Aries constellation. The "before" image on the left is from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The "after" image on the right is from NASA Swift ultraviolet/optical telescope. The pinpoint of light from this star explosion outshines the entire host galaxy.
One of the leading theories on the cause of gamma ray burst, proposed by Stan Woosley of the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1993, is the collapsing-star scenario. This artist's concept of the collapsing star shows the center of a dying star collapsing minutes before implosion and the emission of a gamma ray burst that is seen across the universe.