Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Farthest Explosion

From the European Southern Observatory: Astronomers have detected the farthest object ever seen, a gamma ray explosion at a redshift of 8.2. The object exploded when the Universe was barely 600 million years old. GRB 090423 was first detected by the SWIFT spacecraft, which was designed to catch these gamma ray bursts "on the fly." Follow-on observations were made by the ESO Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile. ESO Press ReleaseThis GRB may be the sign of a massive Black Hole.

Separately, the Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea has found a "blob" formed only 800 million years after the Big Bang. The object iss comparab;le in size to our Milky Way galaxy. Press Release Astronomers are baffled as to how such a large object could have formed so early. Possibly the best way to form a galaxy-size object is around a supermassive Black Hole. Giant Black Holes formed soon after the Big Bang are indicators that the speed of light has changed.

Thanks to the One-Minute Astronomer for the 100th Carnival of Space!

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Blogger Kea said...

Wow! 8.2 ly. I have been to a number of excellent talks about GRBs and black holes, and it is difficult to see how one could interpret these objects as something other than large black holes in the early universe.

1:41 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Always great to hear from you in Oxford. Good news that the visa was extended at least to October. One day people will realise that supermassive Black Holes are primordial.

5:42 AM  

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