gamma-ray burst (GRB) mystery? Astronomers the world over are now scrambling to determine the true nature of the extended emission seen to the lower right of the bright source in the above image. The bright object in the center is rapidly fading - and thought to be the first true optical counterpart to a GRB. But is it housed in a galaxy? If so, after the central emission has faded, this galaxy should be identifiable. Today, follow up observations of this blob are planned with the Hubble Space Telescope. If the extended emission does come from a galaxy it would bolster indications that the February 28th GRB occurred in that galaxy, across the universe from us. This, in turn, would imply that GRBs are truly the most powerful explosions ever known.
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& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day