Scientists just discovered a colossal gamma-ray burst, and it has become a record holder

(ORDO NEWS) — Observatories around the world have just detected a colossal burst of extremely powerful radiation, described as a “record holder”.

The event, first detected on October 9, was so bright that it was initially mistaken for an event closer to home. Originally named Swift J1913.1+1946, it was thought to be a brief burst of X-rays from a not too distant source.

It was only through further analysis that astronomers discovered the true nature of the glow – a Gamma-ray burst, one of the most powerful explosions in the universe, now renamed GRB221009A.

Although farther away, it was still one of the closest observables, only 2.4 billion light-years away.

Moreover, this exceptionally bright gamma-ray burst was the most energetic ever detected, reaching 18 teraelectronvolts. gamma-ray burst, it poses absolutely no danger to life on Earth.

On the contrary, it is extremely interesting – an event that may shed new light (pun intended) on these fascinating explosions.

Although its proximity makes it brighter in our skies, GRB221009A is possibly the brightest GRB we have ever seen.

“This is indeed a very exciting event!” astronomer and transient specialist Gemma Anderson of the Curtin University International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Australia told ScienceAlert., the X-rays and gamma rays that it emits are extremely bright and therefore easy to observe.

Therefore, we can study this gamma-ray burst with many large and small telescopes around the world and collect very complete data sets when it first becomes brighter and then disappears. ”

Gamma rays are the most energetic form of light in the universe, resulting from the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei.

And a gamma-ray burst is a grandiose event that ejects as much energy in a few seconds as the Sun would produce in 10 billion years.

These bursts mark the end of a massive star’s life – a supernova or hypernova. They can also result from the collision of two neutron stars.

Essentially, when a star more massive than about eight of our suns squeezed together runs out of material needed to fuse it with hydrogen, the external pressure drops and the star collapses under the force of gravity.

The result is a colossal explosion (supernova) that ejects the outer matter into space while the core collapses into a neutron star or black hole.

Different profiles of gamma-ray bursts mean different types of explosions that are dimmed. differently. When astronomers observed the collision of two neutron stars in 2017, there was a short gamma-ray burst. Long bursts are associated with unusually powerful events, superluminal supernovae and hypernovae.

It is not yet clear what we are seeing with GRB221009A.

“It’s still too early. tell,” says Anderson. “The light from the underlying supernova will become brighter in a few days. However, given the long duration of this gamma-ray burst, it could be a very powerful type of supernova.”

We know that the burst appears to have originated from a very dusty galaxy and that it was very powerful. And the Large Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO), the Cherenkov Observatory in China, has detected photons with energies up to about 18 teraelectronvolts (TeV).

To date, only a few gamma-ray bursts with emission in the TeV range have been detected; if the LHAASO data is confirmed, GRB221009A will be the first with an energy above 10 TeV.

At the moment, there is a lot of scientific research to be done in the days following the outbreak. Scientists are adjusting telescopes to the object’s location to observe the behavior of the afterglow at as many wavelengths as possible, which is important information for uncovering the cause of the explosion in detail.

“When you’re dealing with cosmic explosions that eject stellar debris at nearly the speed of light, leaving behind a black hole, you’re seeing physics going on in some of the most extreme conditions that can’t be recreated on Earth,” Anderson says.

“We still don’t fully understand this process. Such a close explosion means that we can collect very high-quality data to study and understand how such explosions occur.”


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