A tremendous explosion has occurred in the nearby universe and major telescopes across Earth and space are investigating.
Dubbed GRB 130427A, the
gamma-ray burst was
first seen by the Earth-orbiting
Swift satellite in high energy
and quickly reported down to Earth.
Within three minutes, the half-meter ISON telescope in
found the blast in visible light, noted its extreme brightness,
and relayed more exact coordinates.
Within the next few minutes, the bright optical counterpart was being tracked by several quickly re-pointable telescopes including the 2.0-meter
P60 telescope in
California, the 1.3-meter
PAIRTEL telescope in
New Mexico, and the 2.0-meter
Faulkes Telescope North in
Within two hours, the 8.2-meter
Gemini North telescope
in Hawaii noted a
redshift of 0.34, placing the explosion about 470 million
light years away --
considered nearby in cosmological terms.
Previously recorded images from the
RAPTOR full-sky monitors were scanned and a very bright
optical counterpart --
magnitude 7.4 --
50 seconds before the Swift trigger.
The brightest burst in recent years, a
from GRB 130427A has also been found in low energy
radio waves by the
Very Large Array (VLA)
and at the highest energies ever recorded by the
and telescopes designed to detect only extremely high energy photons are
their data for a GRB 130427A signal.
Pictured in the
above animation, the entire gamma-ray sky is shown becoming momentarily dominated by the intense glow of GRB 130427A.
Continued tracking the optical counterpart
will surely be ongoing as there is a
possibility that the glow of a classic supernova will soon emerge.
Fermi LAT Collaboration