Doomed star within Milky Way threatens Earth with rare gamma-ray burst

University of Sydney astronomers, working with international colleagues, have found a star system like none seen before in our galaxy.


The scientists believe one of the stars—about 8000 light years from Earth—is the first known candidate in the Milky Way to produce a dangerous gamma-ray burst, among the most energetic events in the universe, when it explodes and dies. The system, comprising a pair of scorchingly luminous stars, was nicknamed Apep by the team after the serpentine Egyptian god of chaos. One star is on the brink of a massive supernova explosion.


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