File:Most distant Gamma-ray burst.jpg

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English: Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are powerful flashes of energetic gamma-rays lasting from less than a second to several minutes. They release a tremendous amount of energy in this short time making them the most powerful events in the Universe. They are thought to be mostly associated with the explosion of stars that collapse into black holes. In the explosion, two jets of very fast-moving material are ejected, as depicted in this artist’s illustration. If a jet happens to be aimed at Earth, we see a brief but powerful gamma-ray burst.
Français : Les sursauts gamma (GRB) sont des éclairs puissants de rayons gamma énergétiques qui durent de moins d'une seconde à plusieurs minutes. Dans ce court laps de temps ils libèrent une énorme quantité d'énergie ce qui les rend les événements les plus puissants de l'Univers. On pense qu'ils sont principalement associés à l'explosion d'étoiles qui s'effondrent dans des trous noirs. Lors de l'explosion, deux jets de matériaux très rapides sont éjectés, comme le montre cette image d'artiste. Si un jet se trouvait être dirigé vers la Terre, nous verrions une brève mais puissante explosion de rayons gamma.
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Source http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso0917/
Author ESO/A. Roquette
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