Star Explodes

Posted on March 23, 2008

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A star that resides almost 8 billion light years away has just exploded and with that explosion has set a new record as the largest and brightest object that can be seen from earth by the naked eye.

The ancient star, which is located in a distant galaxy, exploded in a brilliant gamma ray burst 7.5 billion light years away. The light generated by the explosion just reached earth this Wednesday. The explosion was bright enough to be seen by the naked eye.

The burst, which began when the universe was about half it’s current age, was recorded to be bright enough to be seen without a telescope.

The 7.5 billion light years sets a new record for the largest naked eye distance. One light year is about 5.9 trillion miles. That means that the light from the exploding star would have had to travel  4,425,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles  (7,121,347,200,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers) before it reached the eyes of people on earth.

NASA says that the star was roughly 40 times the size of our sun. That would have meant that the explosion would have had devestating effects on any nearby planets. The explosion would have vaporized countless planets, killing any life that could have possibly thrived thier surfaces.

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