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Artists impression of a dark gamma-ray burst
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Artist's impression of a dark gamma-ray burst

December 17, 2010
This artist's impression shows a dark gamma-ray burst in a star forming region. Gamma-ray bursts are among the most energetic events in the Universe, but some appear curiously faint in visible light. The biggest study of these dark gamma-ray bursts to date, using the GROND instrument on the 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile, has found that these gigantic explosions, while puzzling, don't require exotic explanations. Their faintness is now fully explained by a combination of causes with the most important being the presence of dust between the Earth and the explosion.


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