Abstract. The distinction of "largest explosions in the universe" has been bestowed on cosmic gamma-ray bursts. Their afterglows are brighter than supernovae and therefore are called hypernovae. Photometry and spectroscopy of these afterglows have provided major breakthroughs in our understanding of this mysterious phenomenon.
Abstract. Significant observational progress in addressing the question of the origin and early evolution of galaxies has been made in the past few years, allowing for direct comparison of the epoch when most of the stars in the universe were forming to prevailing theoretical models. There is currently broad consistency between theoretical expectations and the observations, but rapid improvement in the data will provide much more critical tests of theory in the coming years. caling the universe: Gravitational lenses and the Hubble constant.