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Images: Mysterious space explosion

Strange burst discovered this month by NASA occured 440 million light-years away near Aries constellation.
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1 of 2 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Explosion

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.

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2 of 2 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

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.

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