April 8, 2011
NASA is studying a surprising cosmic burst at the center of distant galaxy that has burned for more than a week, longer than astronomers have ever seen before, the US space agency said Thursday.
Calling it “one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts ever observed,” NASA said it has mobilized the Hubble Space Telescope along with its Swift satellite and Chandra X-ray Observatory to study the phenomenon.
“More than a week later, high-energy radiation continues to brighten and fade from its location,” NASA said in a statement.
“Astronomers say they have never seen such a bright, variable, high-energy, long-lasting burst before. Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, and flaring emission from these events never lasts more than a few hours.”