UK astronomer Nial Tanvir described the observation as "a step back in cosmic time".
Professor Tanvir led an international team studying the afterglow of the explosion, using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii.
He told BBC News that his team was able to observe the afterglow for 10 days, while the gamma ray burst itself lasted around 12 seconds.
Astronomers spot 13.1 billion year-old gamma-ray burst
Posted on Thursday, Oct 29 2009 @ 18:58 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck