powerful space explosion may herald star's death by black hole
"a huge, powerful star explosion detonated in deep space last week — an ultra-bright conflagaration that has astronomers scratching their heads over exactly how it happened.
the explosion may be the death cry of a star as it was ripped apart by a black hole, scientists said. high-energy radiation continues to brighten and fade from the march 28 blast's location, about 3.8 billion light-years from earth in the constellation draco.
astronomers say they've never witnessed an explosion so bright, long-lasting and variable before, according to nasa officials.
the explosion looks like a gamma-ray burst — the most powerful type of explosion in the universe, which usually mark the destruction of a massive star — but the flaring emissions from these dramatic events never last more than a few hours, researchers said.
"we know of objects in our own galaxy that can produce repeated bursts, but they are thousands to millions of times less powerful than the bursts we are seeing now," said andrew fruchter, of the space telescope science institute in baltimore, in a statement today (april 7). "this is truly extraordinary."