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Star explosion is most distant space object seen
Blast is estimated to be located more than 13 billion light years from Earth
By Andrea Thompson Senior writer updated 3:17 p.m. ET, Wed., Oct . 28, 2009
GRB 090423 is the small, very red source in the center of this image. The red color is indicative of its great distance — about 13.1 billion light years — since all the optical light has been absorbed by intergalactic hydrogen gas, leaving only infrared light.
Light from a star that exploded 13 billion years ago has been detected, becoming the most distant object in the universe ever observed. The light from the distant explosion, called a gamma-ray burst, first reached Earth on April 23 and was detected by NASA's Swift satellite. Gamma-ray bursts are thought to be associated with the formation of star-sized black holes as massive stars collapse.