Star explodes halfway across universe

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A star's explosion, halfway across the universe, has set what scientists say is a record for the farthest object that could be seen from Earth by the naked eye.

NASA says the star exploded 7.5 billion light years away, when the universe was about half as old as it is now. The light from the explosion finally reached Earth on Wednesday.

Telescopic measurements show that the burst was bright enough to be seen without a telescope. But NASA doesn't know if any skywatchers actually saw it.

If they did, astronomers say the burst would have appeared as bright as some of the stars in the handle of the Little Dipper constellation.

One expert says the brightness wasn't remarkable, but the distance that the light traveled was.

Details are on the NASA web site at http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/mar/HQ_08086_Swift_Detects_GRB.html

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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