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Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.
Credit: Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Don’t be fooled! The cosmic swirl of stars in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image may seem tranquil and unassuming, but this spiral galaxy, known as ESO 580-49, actually displays some explosive tendencies.
In October of 2011, a cataclysmic burst of high-energy gamma-ray radiation — known as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB — was detected coming from the region of sky containing ESO 580-49. Astronomers believe that the galaxy was the host of the GRB, given that the chance of a coincidental alignment between the two is roughly 1 in 10 million. At a distance of around 185 million light-years from Earth, it was the second-closest gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever detected.
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