WASHINGTON – Astronomers have spotted a burst of energy from a dying star, setting a record for the oldest and most distant object seen by Earth yet.
The 10-second blast was from when the universe was only 630 million years old.
NASA’s Swift satellite spotted the gamma-ray burst, an explosion of high-powered radiation, on April 23. Then ground telescopes watched the afterglow and calculated it had traveled about 13.1 billion light years to get here. It beat old records by 100 or 200 hundred million light years.
NASA astrophysicist Neil Gehrels said the star’s fiery death gave birth to a black hole. The star was only 1 million years old or so and was about 30 times the size of our sun.
Astronomers see oldest object in universe yet