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A Powerful Galactic Explosion Has Been Detected — and Astronomers Aren’t Sure What Caused It

30 Mar 2017, 20:58 UTC
A Powerful Galactic Explosion Has Been Detected — and Astronomers Aren’t Sure What Caused It X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/B.Luo et al.
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NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has detected a mysterious explosion in deep space and, although astronomers have some suspected causes for the incredibly powerful event, there’s a possibility that it could be something we’ve never witnessed before.
The signal is the deepest X-ray source ever recorded and it appears to be related to a galaxy located approximately 10.7 billion light-years away (it therefore happened 10.7 billion years ago, when the universe was only three billion years old). Over the course of only a few minutes in October 2014, this event produced a thousand times more energy than all the stars in its galaxy. Before that time, there were no X-rays originating from this location and there’s been nothing since.

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