A Stellar Explosion You Could See on Earth

The image has two views of the same portion of sky. On the left, the X-ray light is shown in yellows and oranges like a bright ball of fire on a black background. On the right is the optical view with several balls of white light showing a starry background. In the center of the image is one of the balls of light but surrounded by an orange and green halo.
March 21, 2008
CreditNASA/Swift/Stefan Immler, et al.
Historical DateMarch 21, 2008
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NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory imaged the extremely luminous afterglow of explosion GRB 080319B using its X-ray Telescope (left) and Optical/Ultraviolet Telescope (right). This was the brightest gamma-ray burst afterglow ever seen at the time.