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Scientists spot oldest ever object in universe

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an article in CNN _http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/04/29/gamma.ray.burst.space/index.html_
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2009
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      URL to an article in CNN

      First few paragraphs
      (CNN) -- Edo Berger got an alert early last Thursday morning when a
      satellite detected a 10-second blast of energy known as a gamma ray burst coming
      from outer space.

      The exploding star was up to 100 times larger than our own sun, pictured

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      Telescopes around the world swiveled to focus on the explosion, soon
      picking up infrared radiation, which is produced after gamma rays in this kind
      of event. Berger was ready to view the visible light, which should have
      It never arrived.
      "We were kind of blown away. We immediately knew what that meant," Berger
      What it meant was that he was looking at the oldest thing ever spotted --
      an enormous star exploding 13 billion years ago.
      "At that point the age of the universe was only 600 million years," he
      said. In other words, Berger said, he was looking "95 percent of the way back
      to the beginning of time."
      The star which exploded was 30 to 100 times larger than our own sun, and
      when it died, it gave off "about million times the amount of energy the sun
      will release in its entire lifetime," Berger told CNN by phone from _Harvard
      University_ (http://topics.cnn.com/topics/harvard_university) , where he
      is an assistant professor of astronomy.
      Its death throes produced so much energy that "momentarily, we can
      essentially see it anywhere in the universe," Berger said.
      The object, known as GRB 090423, is about 200 million years older than the
      previous record-holder for oldest object ever seen."
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