Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Swift Satellite Spies Cosmic Crash

UFO
Neutron

Massive energy burst supports theory of neutron star collisons.

By Mark Peplow
News@Nature.com

     A satellite that NASA sent to investigate mysterious energy bursts has succeeded in glimpsing its quarry. The data it is beaming to Earth support the leading theory that the bursts are generated by the dramatic collision of two neutron stars as they form a black hole.

     NASA's Swift satellite spotted the energy burst at 4:00 GMT on 9 May. The event, named GRB050509b, threw out a very short blast of gamma-rays (gamma-rays): 90% of the event's total energy was released in just 30 milliseconds.

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