Apollo 11 photo of Earth with glare from Sun

Stellar Science

Did Astronomers See a Distant, Dying Star? Or an Earth-bound Satellite?

What seemed a lucky break — the discovery of a gamma-ray burst in the most distant known galaxy — might instead be the flash of passing space debris. As satellites fill low-Earth orbit, such events might become common.

Giant flare on a magnetar

Stellar Science

Milky Way Magnetar Spits Gamma Rays on Schedule

A Milky Way magnetar surprises astronomers by burping up gamma rays right when their predictions anticipated.

Gamma-ray burst

Stellar Science

Astronomers Find Most Distant Gamma-ray Burst Yet

From the farthest-known galaxy in the observable universe comes the brightest and most energetic of events: a possible gamma-ray burst.

Birth of a Magnetar

Stellar Science

Gamma-ray Flash Heralds Birth of a Magnetar

What happens when two neutron stars don't add up to a black hole?

Gamma-ray burst illustration

Stellar Science

Astronomers See Extreme Photons from Collapsing Massive Stars

Astronomers have detected a long-sought signal from gamma-ray bursts — the highest-energy photons ever seen from these events.

Stellar Science

Two Explosions with Similar Quirks

High-energy radiation released during the merger of two neutron stars last year has left astronomers puzzled. Could a burst of gamma rays from 2015 help us to piece together a coherent picture of both explosions?

Stellar Science

GRBs: A New Standard Candle?

Astronomers might be on the brink of developing a new rung on the cosmic distance ladder.

Stellar Science

Dead Stars Caught Colliding

Astronomers have detected a signal that looks like it's from two neutron stars crashing together. The observations could be solid evidence for the hypothesized culprits of short gamma-ray bursts.

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