Friday, February 18, 2005

Monster star burst was brighter than full Moon Yike. This is a scary but cool story about a "starquake" on a neutron star 50,000 light years away.

The high-radiation flash, detected last December 27, caused no harm to Earth but would have literally fried the planet had it occurred within a few light years of home.

Normally reserved skywatchers struggled for superlatives.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event," said Rob Fender of Britain's Southampton University.

"We have observed an object only 20 kilometers (12 miles) across, on the other side of our galaxy, releasing more energy in a 10th of a second than the Sun emits in 100,000 years."

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