Hubble pinpoints source of mysterious outburst

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has pinpointed the source of one of the most puzzling blast of high-energy radiation ever observed. It is at the very center of a small, distant galaxy.

The galaxy appears as a bright blob at the centre of the Hubble picture.

Astronomers say it is likely that a supermassive black hole at the core of the galaxy has gravitationally torn apart and swallowed a bypassing star. As the star’s gas falls onto the black hole, X-ray and gamma radiation is ejected along a narrow beam towards Earth.

If confirmed, this would be the first time this phenomenon has been observed.


NASA, ESA and A. Fruchter (STScI)

About the Image

NASA press release
Release date:7 April 2011, 15:00
Related announcements:ann1108
Size:1200 x 900 px

About the Object

Name:GRB 110328A
Type:Early Universe : Cosmology : Phenomenon : Gamma Ray Burst
Distance:4 billion light years

Image Formats

r.titleLarge JPEG
810.6 KB
r.titleScreensize JPEG
500.7 KB


Position (RA):16 44 50.02
Position (Dec):57° 34' 59.32"
Field of view:0.40 x 0.30 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.2° left of vertical

Colours & filters

606 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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