Artist’s impression of a gamma-ray burst shining through two young galaxies in the early Universe

This artist’s impression shows two galaxies in the early Universe. The brilliant explosion on the left is a gamma-ray burst. As the light from the burst passes through the two galaxies  on the way to Earth (outside the frame to the right) some colours are absorbed by the cool gas in the galaxies, leaving characteristic dark lines in the spectrum. Careful study of these spectra has allowed astronomers to discover that these two galaxies are remarkably rich in heavier chemical elements.


ESO/L. Calçada

About the Image

Release date:2 November 2011, 12:00
Related releases:eso1143
Size:3258 x 2443 px

About the Object

Name:GRB 090323, Spectrum
Type:Early Universe : Cosmology : Phenomenon : Gamma Ray Burst
Distance:z=3.57 (redshift)

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.3 MB
Screensize JPEG
123.5 KB