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News Release 6 of 10

May 6, 1998 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1998-17

Gamma-Ray Burst Found to be Most Energetic Event in Universe

A Space Science Update Release

May 6, 1998: A team of astronomers has announced that a recently detected gamma-ray burst was as bright as the rest of the universe, releasing a hundred times more energy than previously theorized.

The team measured the distance to a faint galaxy from which the burst, designated GRB 971214, originated. It is about 12 billion light-years from Earth. The astronomers used a suite of satellites and ground-based telescopes to follow the burst. This Hubble image of the GRB 971214 field was taken about four months after the burst, well after the afterglow had faded away. The extremely faint and distant object marked with an arrow is the host galaxy of the gamma-ray burst.

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Credit: S. R. Kulkarni and S. G. Djorgovski (Caltech), the Caltech GRB Team , and NASA