In a distant corner of the universe, something is traveling faster than light.
No, the laws of physics aren’t being violated: It’s still true that nothing can travel faster than light in the vacuum of empty space. But when light travels through matter, like interstellar gas or a soup of charged particles, it slow downs, meaning other matter might overtake it. And that may explain the weird symmetry in pulses of some of the most energetic light in the universe, called gamma-ray bursts.
These cryptic bursts — bright flashes of gamma-ray light that come from faraway galaxies — form when massive stars collapse or when ultradense neutron stars collide. These cataclysms send speeding jets of hot, charged plasma zooming through space.