September 12, 2005

September 12

BBC Monday, 12 September 2005, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK

Most distant cosmic blast sighted

GRB 050904, Dr Daniel Reichart

Astronomers have witnessed the most distant cosmic explosion on record:a gamma ray burst that has come from the edge of the visible Universe.The blast was observed by the Swift space telescope and by a number of ground-based observatories.

The latest, record gamma ray burst was detected on 4 September 2005 and lasted about three minutes. It probably marked the death of a massive star as it collapsed into a black hole. It has a redshift of 6.29, which translates to a distance of about 13 billion light years from Earth.