The biggest fireworks display you´ll ever see

Ever seen an explosion that is as bright as a million trillion suns? Well, there was one last September, but don´t be too upset if you didn´t see it. It happened twelve billion light years away, so Earth won´t get to see the fireworks for around.. twelve billion years. This is because when you SEE something, you are seeing the LIGHT that bounces off from it. Light is fast. The fastest thing there is, but it still takes time to travel. The distance light travels in one year is called a light year (not very surprising!).

If we can´t see it, how do we know this explosion happened? Well, the guys and girls at NASA are a curious bunch. One science project of theirs was to stick a special telescope onto a rocket. This telescope was built to look for a Gamma-Ray burst. A Gamma-Ray burst is the strongest explosion we know of and scientists LOVE them!

The Earth´s atmostphere blocks our view of Gamma-Ray Bursts. In one way this is a good thing (we might fry if all that energy could reach us). In another way, it´s a bit disappointing: there is NO fireworks display like a deep-space Gamma-Ray burst!

No-one really knows yet what causes Gamma-Ray Bursts. One theory is that the energy is released when a star gets too big and collapses. In other words, when a Black Hole is born! Still, scientists are still guessing. But that´s what science is – finding the answer to a question. Showing HOW you found the answer is what makes a good science project

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