Photo/IllutrationA black hole releases a gamma ray in a depiction. (Provided by the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Cosmic Ray Research)

  • Photo/Illustraion

An international research team has observed the "death throes" of a massive star 4.5 billion light years away when it collapsed in a supernova explosion, forming a black hole.

The record-breaking gamma ray belched by the black hole had 10 times more energy than those on record, according to the team, which included scientists from the University of Tokyo.

The research result was published in the British scientific journal Nature on Nov. 20.

The scientists observed the phenomenon through the Cherenkov Telescope Array in Spain's Canary Islands in the direction of the Fornax constellation in the southern sky.

Gamma bursts, considered the most violent phenomena in the universe, are believed to be caused by supernova explosions.

According to the analysis, the star is tens of times heavier than the sun and is believed to have died about 4.5 billion years ago, around the time the solar system was born.

When the star exploded, it is estimated to have released in just 20 seconds the same amount of energy that the sun will release over its lifetime.

Koji Noda, an associate professor of the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Cosmic Ray Research who specializes in gamma ray astronomy, said, “We want to reveal the mechanism behind the release of a gamma ray by a black hole further."

To view the published research results, see (