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CASS News

Monster star blast 'brighter than full Moon'

Radio telescopes of CSIRO and the University of Sydney, and others in Europe, India and the USA, have been watching the aftermath of one of the most stupendous cosmic explosions ever recorded.

On 27 December last year a star 50 000 light-years away produced a monster blast of radiation that made it, for a tenth of a second, brighter than the full moon — the brightest object ever seen outside the solar system — and briefly disrupted a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The event was detected by X-ray and gamma-ray instruments on NASA and European satellites, and by telescopes around the world.

The observations were presented at a NASA press briefing in Washington today. Papers on the event will appear in the journal "Nature".

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Added by Helen Sim on 2005-02-19

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