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Bug in calculating -3^49999.0


Hello everybody,

I'm using Mathematica 5.1 under Win2k and I found a bug when I try to compute
-3^49999. I get:

-3^49999 //N  =>  -3.85 * 10^23855          okay
-3^49999.      =>  -3.85 * 10^23855          okay
(-3)^49999.    =>  -3.85 * 10^23855 + 4.56*10^23844 i       wrong
(-3)^49999     =>  -3.85 * 10^23855          okay

Is this a known problem?
Is there a work around ?
Obviously this is part of a more complicated calculation and so I
cannot simply leave out the brackets.

 Many thanks,

                Axel


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