NASA’s Swift satellite has detected a sudden burst of energy coming from our neighboring galaxy M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. It is unclear exactly what this is at the moment, either a gamma ray burst (GRB) or an ultra-luminous x-ray source (ULX), but both outcomes are very exciting, especially since this occurred so close to us.
If this energetic source turns out to be a gamma ray burst, it was likely created from a collision of neutron stars. If an ultra-luminousx-ray source, the cause would be a black hole consuming matter.
There is a lot of discussion about this happening on Twitter right now. Check out #GRBm31 for what astronomers and astrophysicists are saying.
Related: previous posts on Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs).