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GRB sets new cosmic distance record
Posted: Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 9:23 AM ET (1323 GMT)
GRB 090423 seen by Swift (NASA) A gamma-ray burst last week is the most distant object ever observed, astronomers announced Tuesday. The burst, GRB 090423, was detected by NASA's Swift spacecraft on April 23 and observed in the following hours by several ground-based telescopes, looking for an afterglow in visible or infrared light. Those followup observations determined that the object had a redshift of 8.2, corresponding to a distance of just over 13 billion light-years and making it the most distant object ever observed. The previous record-holder, a GRB observed last September, had a redshift of 6.7, meaning it was 190 million light-years closer than this GRB.
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