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New Gamma-Ray Burst Smashes Cosmic Distance Record

The most distant cosmic explosion ever seen has been discovered by an international team, which includes astronomers at Penn State, using NASA's Swift satellite and several large telescopes at sites around the globe. The explosion, dubbed GRB 090423, is a gamma-ray burst from a star that died when the universe was 630 million years old - less than 5 percent of its present age.

"The burst most likely arose from the explosion of a massive star," said Derek Fox, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State. "We're seeing the demise of a star - and probably the birth of a black hole - in one of the universe's earliest stellar generations." More...

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