GRB 010222: A gamma-ray burst, one of the most intense explosions in the universe, observed by Chandra on February 22, 2000
Caption: Data from this Chandra image suggest that gamma-ray bursts originate in regions of star formation. Several theories exist about what causes gamma-ray bursts, including a hypothesis that a massive star explodes, creating a blast of material that expands at relativistic speeds like an inflating bubble. The latest Chandra data obtained suggest that these expanding bubbles of material are braking against a wall of very dense gas. This could imply that gamma-ray burst explosions occur in the same stellar environment that originally produced the massive star itself, and perhaps may be a trigger for even more star formation.
Scale: Image is 5 x 4 arcmin.
Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image