Astronomers have detected the most distant — and therefore oldest — gamma-ray burst ever. The burst, called GRB 050904, was observed last September and is thought to have come from an explosion that happened around 12.8 billion years ago, when the universe was just 7% of its current age. The explosion released an intense flash of gamma rays that has been measured by three independent teams of astronomers from the US, Italy and Japan. The results — reported in three papers in this week’s Nature — could help shed more light on the dynamics of the early universe.
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