Massive Gamma Blast Spotted

Explosion had force of 9,000 supernovas
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2009 1:15 PM CST
The Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope, which detected the largest ever gamma ray blast.   (Wikimedia)
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(Newser) – The strongest-ever gamma ray blast—a burst more powerful than 9,000 exploding stars—has been detected 12.2 billion light years away in deep space, reports the Telegraph. The blast took place in September in the constellation Carina, and produced energy up to 5 billion times that of light. Astronomers believe that gamma ray bursts occur when stars exhaust their nuclear fuel and collapse.

According to NASA, a gamma ray explosion shines hundreds of times more brightly than a supernova, and trillions of times more brightly than the sun. They are the most intense explosions since the Big Bang and help scientists determine the origins of the universe. This most recent blast was found by NASA's Fermi telescope and detailed in the journal Science.