“Yesterday [March 19], the gamma ray burst GRB 080319B was observed. What is so special about this one is that it has been determined to have happened at a distance of 7.5 billion light years, and yet its optical afterglow was briefly visible with the naked eye!” —Giant cosmic explosion visible for an instant at Scientific Blogging
According to Pi of the Sky, it was “the brightest ever gamma ray burst”.
That reminded me of Omens, which I wrote in 2002, one of my favorites.
That in turn reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Star” (full text), which was published the year I was born.
image credit: Pi of the Sky
Update (4/3): changed image to single frame; click on it to see original animated image.