Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gamma-ray burst is most distant yet seen

A record has been set for the most distant gamma-ray burst, astronomers announced at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston today. The result pushes back the time by which stars and galaxies must have formed to just 500 million years after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. “This tells us there was already huge star formation activity going on,” says astronomer Antonio Cucchiara of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, who is first author on a paper about the result that is due to be posted on the arxiv preprint archive later today. More>