{mosimage}News adapted from a TNG website entry

It is 13 billion years old, give or take a day or so. It suddenly released more energy than is released by the sun in its whole existence. And it is a GRB. [[Gamma-ray_burst|Gamma-Ray Bursts]] are among the brightest explosions in the universe, and in a few seconds they release a tremendous amount of energy, with their light illuminating the path from the source towards us. Although these events, as observed form Earth, are rather frequent, on April 23 at 7:55:19 UT the [[Swift_Gamma_Ray_Burst_Explorer|Swift satellite]] detected one of these events that represented a scientific breakthrough: GRB 090423.

As shown by follow-up observations performed with ground-based telescopes, it was a very distant event, and soon it looked like this was the farthest GRB ever observed. A team of international astronomers led by Swift Italian Team and CIBO, using the AMICI prism with the Italian [[Telescopio_Nazionale_Galileo|Telescopio Nazionale Galileo]], was able to compute its redshift at about 8.1, corresponding to a distance of more than 80 Gpc, when the universe was only slightly more than 600 million years old (see figure).

Among the members of the international team, three IASF-BO astronomers: {cb_profile=palazzi}Eliana Palazzi{/cb_profile}, {cb_profile=maiorano}Elisabetta Maiorano{/cb_profile}, and {cb_profile=masetti}Nicola Masetti{/cb_profile}.

{mosimage} You may want to see the video news, aired on Rai – TG1, about this extraordinary achievement.