Illustration for article titled Mega-Explosion Creates Biggest Burst of Gamma Radiation Ever Detected

It's a good day for space discoveries. A Martian windstorm just cleaned Mars rover Spirit's solar panels, and those of us back on Earth got to enjoy the best gamma ray burst ever.


Scientists have now analyzed the explosion, which occurred late last year, and images of it have been released (see above). According to Discovery News:

The spectacular blast, which occurred in September in the Carina constellation, produced energies ranging from 3,000 to more than five billion times that of visible light, astrophysicists said.

"Visible light has an energy range of between two and three electron volts and these were in the millions to billions of electron volts," astrophysicist Frank Reddy of NASA said.

"If you think about it in terms of energy, X-rays are more energetic because they penetrate matter. These things don't stop for anything — they just bore through and that's why we can see them from enormous distances," Reddy said.


Read more at Discovery!

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