STELLAR CHEMISTRY

GRB 111209A exploded on Dec. 9, 2011. The blast produced high-energy emission for an astonishing seven hours, earning a record as the longest-duration GRB ever observed. This false-color image shows the event as captured by the X-ray Telescope aboard NASA's Swift satellite. Credit: NASA/Swift/B. Gendre (ASDC/INAF-OAR/ARTEMIS).

GRB 111209A exploded on Dec. 9, 2011. The blast produced high-energy emission for an astonishing seven hours, earning a record as the longest-duration GRB ever observed. This false-color image shows the event as captured by the X-ray Telescope aboard NASA’s Swift satellite. Credit: NASA/Swift/B. Gendre (ASDC/INAF-OAR/ARTEMIS).

Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 17, 2013 – Three unusually long-lasting stellar explosions discovered by NASA’s Swift satellite represent a previously unrecognized class of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Two international teams of astronomers studying these events conclude that they likely arose from the catastrophic death of supergiant stars hundreds of times larger than the sun. The astronomers discussed their findings Tuesday at the 2 … more