December 1, 2011

Dual Personality of the ‘Christmas Burst’

These animations illustrate two wildly different explanations for GRB 101225A, better known as the “Christmas burst.” First, a solitary neutron star in our own galaxy shreds and accretes an approaching comet-like body. In the second, a neutron star is engulfed by, spirals into and merges with an evolved giant star in a distant galaxy. credit: NASA

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