Live GRB Map.

Nearly every day, a blazing flash of high-energy gamma rays appears in the sky, undetectable to human eyes. For a few fleeting seconds, these mysterious bursts - which come from unpredictable directions, different every time - rank among the  brightest objects in the sky.

Orbiting satellites detect these detect gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) in the act of flaring. By mapping and studying these explosions across the sky, scientists have begun to develop an explanation for GRBs, one that might tell us what happens when a black hole is born!

Their conclusion: Most observed GRBs happen when a massive star in a distant galaxy runs out of fuel and can no longer support itself. Just before the star collapses to form a black hole, some of its energy is focused into powerful jets of matter that shoot out of the north and south poles of the star, causing a burst of gamma rays.

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