Chandra Observes Extraordinary Event

GRB 110328A

The center of this image contains an extraordinary gamma-ray burst (GRB) called GRB 110328A, observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This Chandra observation confirms the association of GRB 110328A with the core of a distant galaxy and shows that it was an exceptionally long lived and luminous event compared to other GRBs.

The red cross shows the position of a faint galaxy - located about 3.8 billion light years from Earth - observed with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini-North telescope on the ground. Allowing for experimental errors, the position of the galaxy is indistinguishable from that of the X-ray source, showing that the source is located close to the middle of the galaxy. This is consistent with the idea, suggested by some astronomers, that a star was torn apart by a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. This idea differs from the usual interpretation for a GRB, involving the production of a jet when a black hole or neutron star forms after the collapse of a massive star or a merger between two neutron stars.

-Megan Watzke

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