Scenes from a Universe

Gamma Ray BurstUniverse Today has a couple of posts up featuring some fascinting satellite imagery, and even a link to some pretty cool imagination. One features some images of Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus from NASA Astrobiology, while the other concerns a cosmic explosion seen by NASA’s Swift satellite

The Swift satellite, whose mission control center is in State College, has detected a cosmic explosion that has sent scientists around the world scrambling to telescopes to document this startling event. Gamma-ray radiation from the source, detected on 18 February and lasting about half an hour, appears to be a precursor to a supernova, which is the death throes of a star much more massive than the Sun. "The observations indicate that this is an incredibly rare glimpse of an initial gamma-ray burst at the beginning of a supernova," said Peter Brown, a Penn State graduate student and a member of the Swift science team.

The Penn State release also links to a pretty cool collapsing star animation, collapsing stars being one of the "leading contenders" for causing gamma ray bursts like the one Swift detected. Also check out the link to NASA’s Goddard Space Center for multimedia from Goddard TV