New Star! A Halo Expanding a Thousand Times Faster Than the Speed of Light

The European Space Agency's (ESA) X-ray observatory has imaged a spectacular set of rings which appear to expand, with a speed a thousand times faster than that of light.

"The European Space Agency's X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has imaged a spectacular set of rings which appear to expand, with a speed a thousand times faster than that of light, around the point in the sky where a powerful gamma-ray explosion took place in early December. This is the first time that such a fascinating event, called an 'echo', is seen in X-ray wavelengths." (http://www.star.le.ac.uk/~sav2/grb031203/)

We all know that expansion cannot be unlimited. Explosion will occur at a certain level of expansion. It is easy to see how balloons and tires expand and then explode. However, it isn't easy to discover expansion of a ring in the universe. Astronomers made a wonderful finding that news stars form after expanding rings explode.

According to the announcement by The European Space Agency, "This echo forms when the powerful radiation of a gamma-ray burst, coming from far away, crosses a slab of dust in our Galaxy and scattered by it, like the beam of a lighthouse in clouds. Using the expanding rings to precisely pin-point the location of this dust, astronomers can identify places where new stars and planets are likely to form." (http://www.star.le.ac.uk/~sav2/grb031203/)

According to an Epoch Times report, on December 3, 2003, the Integral satellite of ESA recorded a burst of gamma-rays. The burst lasted for about 30 seconds and then faded. With the help of automatic detection system, many observatories around the world pointed their detection devices to this mysterious emission source, RGB031203. XMM-Newton joined them.

XMM-Newton saw a clear picture of the x-ray "afterglow" of the RGB031203. The most shaking was the two halos expanding at speed a thousand times faster than that of light. What an amazing speed!

Scientists said that the "halo," also called "echo" by astronomers, was caused by X-rays from the initial burst scattered off layers of dust in our Galaxy.

This is the first time that a halo expanding at such high speed is seen in X-ray wavelengths. Similar visible expanding halos have been seen at much slower speeds. Most of them happened when new super stars were formed.

With the universe being renewed at a speed ten thousand times faster than the speed of light, the human world won't be without echo.

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