This image is an artist's rendering of a gamma-ray burst caused by a massive star exhausting its nuclear fuel, exploding and collapsing to form a black hole.

This event is known as GRB 130427A, the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, which astronomers saw in April, 2013. The exploding star from 3.8 billion light-years away has caused scientists to question what we know about gamma-ray bursts. 

“Some of our theories are just going down the drain,” said Charles Dermer, an astrophysicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. 

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Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center