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Movie (2.8 MB)


An intense debate is raging over the origin of the mysterious bursts. Some astronomers believe they come from an extended halo surrounding our Milky Way galaxy. Perhaps from asteroid size objects colliding with neutron stars. Others believe they're origins are billions of light years away at the distant reaches of our observable Universe. At these distances, the phenomena producing the bursts would have to be among the most powerful in the Universe, such as a collision between two neutron stars or between a neutron star and a black hole.


The video stars with a drawing of a newspaper announcing a debate. There is an artist's concept of the Milk Way galaxy with a spherical halo surrounding it. Next is an illustration of the distant universe. The last is an illustration of two neutron stars in orbit until they collide with a huge burst.


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

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