Hubble Tracks the Fading Optical Counterpart of a Gamma Ray Burst
The refurbished Hubble Space Telescope has made an important contribution toward solving one of astronomy's greatest enigmas by allowing astronomers to continue watching the fading visible-light counterpart of a gamma-ray burst (GRB), one of the most energetic and mysterious events in the universe.
The so-called optical counterpart is presumably a cooling fireball from the catastrophic event that triggered the massive burst of invisible gamma rays -- the highest-energy radiation in the universe. This event may have unleashed as much energy in a few seconds as the Sun does in ten billion years!
The Space Telescope Science Institute is operated by the Associationof Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), for NASA, undercontract with the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of internationalcooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA)