Gemini Observatory’s quick reflexes capture fleeting flash

Rapid follow-up of the optical afterglow from one of the most distant confirmed short gamma-ray bursts (SGRB), thought to be the merger of two neutron stars, is casting new light on these enigmatic objects. The observations, made by the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, confirmed the object’s distance and placed it squarely in the epoch of cosmic high noon, when the Universe was in its “teenage years” and rapidly forming stars.