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RA 14h 53m 7.94s Dec -19° 44' 10.70"
190 million light years
2.13 x 1.49 arcminutes
North is 8.0° left of vertical
ESA/Hubble & NASA
December 4, 2017
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:
Don't be fooled! The subject of this picture, ESO 580-49, may seem tranquil and unassuming, but this spiral galaxy actually displays some explosive tendencies.
In October of 2011, a cataclysmic burst of high-energy gamma-ray radiation - known as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB - was detected coming from the region of sky containing ESO 580-49. Astronomers believe that the galaxy was the host of the GRB, given that the chance of a coincidental alignment between the two is roughly 1 in 10 million. At a distance of around 185 million light-years from Earth, it was the second-closest gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever detected.
bursts are among the brightest events in the cosmos, occasionally outshining
the combined gamma-ray output of the entire observable Universe for a
few seconds. The exact cause of the GRB that probably occurred within
this galaxy, catalogued as GRB 111005A, remains a mystery. Several events
are known to lead to GRBs, but none of these explanations appear to fit
the bill in this case. Astronomers have therefore suggested that ESO 580-49
hosted a new type of GRB explosion - one that has not yet been characterized.