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Illustration of a massive star collapsing and sending a jet into space, which is seen as a gamma ray burst NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Illustration of the most common type of gamma-ray burst: The core of a massive star (left) has collapsed, forming a black hole that sends a jet into space at near the speed of light. Radiation including gamma rays, X-rays, visible light and radio waves arises from hot ionized gas near the newborn black hole, collisions among shells of fast-moving gas within the jet, and from the leading edge of the jet as it sweeps up and interacts with its surroundings.