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GRB 130427A: Brightest Ever Gamma-Ray Burst Detected

November 21, 2013 Comments off

sci-news.com

An unusual stellar explosion observed on April 27, 2013 by NASA’s Swift satellite is the brightest gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever recorded, says a multinational team of astronomers.

Optical afterglow of GRB 130427A. Image credit: J. Mats / H. Lars / H. Patrik.

Optical afterglow of GRB 130427A. Image credit: J. Mats / H. Lars / H. Patrik.

The event, labeled GRB 130427A, produced a jet of matter moving close to the speed of light, which was formed when a massive star collapsed to make a black hole at its center. As a result, a blast wave caused the rest of the star to expand outwards, producing a glowing shell of debris observed as an extremely bright supernova.

GRB 130427A happened in a galaxy a quarter of the way across the Universe. Although far away, this is much closer than a typical GRB allowing astronomers to confirm for the first time that the same object can simultaneously create both a powerful GRB and a supernovae.

“We normally detect GRBs at great distance, meaning they usually appear quite faint. In this case the burst happened only a quarter of the way across the Universe meaning it was very bright. On this occasion, a powerful supernova was also produced, something we have not recorded before alongside a Read more…

China limits world’s highest foreign currency reserves

November 21, 2013 Comments off

rt.com

Reuters / Kacper Pempel China’s central bank has said it no longer sees any benefit in increasing its $3.66 trillion foreign currency reserves – already the world’s largest. China will cap its purchases of US dollars in an effort to limit the depreciation of the yuan.

“It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Bloomberg quoted Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank as saying Tuesday.

Decreasing the influence of the dollar and other currencies is a step closer to reaching China’s 2015 goal to “float” its currency and according to the People’s Bank of China will help the everyday Chinese citizen.

Between July and September 2013 China’s increased its foreign – currency holdings by $166 billion, boosting it to the world’s highest of $3.66 trillion. This is also more that the Read more…