NICER Telescope Spots Brightest X-Ray Burst Ever Observed

A telescope mounted on the International Space Station has detected a record-setting X-ray burst coming from a flash on the surface of the remains of an exploded star

On Aug. 20 at about 10:04 p.m. EDT (0204 GMT on Aug. 21), NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) telescope, which is on the space station, detected a sudden and extreme surge of X-rays. The brightest X-ray burst ever observed by NICER, it released as much energy in 20 seconds as our sun does in about 10 days, according to a statement from NASA.

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