Astronomers have observed the most powerful electromagnetic burst ever discovered

Astronomers have just observed a gamma-ray burst that may be the most powerful example ever observed. Astronomers have observed the most powerful electromagnetic burst ever discovered

Astronomers have just observed a gamma-ray burst that may be the most powerful example ever observed.

According to published results In Astronomer's Telegram, this gamma ray burst, the most energetic type of electromagnetic burst known in the world, was first observed by telescopes on Sunday, October 9 (17 Mehr).

Gamma ray burst phenomenon , accidentally discovered by US military satellites in the 1960s, are likely created when giant stars explode at the end of their lives before becoming black holes, or when the remnants of superdense stars known as neutron stars collide. These explosions release as much energy in seconds as the Sun emits in its 10-billion-year lifetime. The electron volt released energy. Scientists are still analyzing the measurements, but if the findings are confirmed, it would be the first gamma-ray burst ever detected with an energy greater than 10 TEV.

At first, the power of this cosmic flash puzzled astronomers. . They thought it must have been produced by a relatively nearby source. They also believed that the energy comes from X-rays instead of gamma rays. Subsequent analysis of the signal confirmed that this evidence came from a source 2.4 billion light-years away. While this distance is not exactly close, this gamma ray burst is still the closest ever observed.

This gamma ray burst was at a safe distance from Earth, but a much closer gamma ray burst, It would be disastrous for our planet. Such an energetic and sudden beam thousands of light years from Earth would completely destroy the ozone layer and possibly cause a mass extinction. In fact, scientists think that one of the largest mass extinction events in Earth's history, known as the "Ordovician Extinction", about 450 million years ago, may have been caused by such an explosion.

From So while this new gamma-ray burst event, GRB221009A, is still 20 times closer than a typical gamma-ray burst event, it's still far enough away to be more exciting than worrying.

As Astronomer Gemma Anderson of Curtin University in Australia noted: "This is a really exciting event! This event is very close but also very energetic, which makes the radio, optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray spectra produced very bright and easy to observe." He added: "We can see this gamma-ray burst As it first brightens and then fades, we study it with many large and small telescopes around the world and get a very comprehensive set of data.

Gamma-ray bursts come in two types. Short gamma ray bursts are rarer and last no longer than two seconds. These bursts account for about 30% of these events, and scientists believe they are caused by neutron star collisions.

The other type are long gamma-ray bursts that can last up to several minutes and are probably caused by supernovae ( Hypernovae), stellar explosions 100 times brighter than supernovae, occur in which massive stars die after running out of hydrogen fuel in their cores. gives

  • cosmic tsunami; The most energetic stream observed in the universe
  • Astronomers mainly see the afterglow of these explosions, which is caused by electrons that are energized by the explosion. GRB221009A appears to be a long gamma-ray burst, but astronomers still don't know what caused it.

    It's too early to tell why, Anderson told ScienceAlert. The light from an underlying supernova takes days to illuminate. However, given how long this gamma-ray burst has been around, it may be a very powerful type of supernova.

    Now telescopes across the Earth and in space are pointing at the dusty galaxy from which this powerful flash originated. has taken, they have taken aim. With the help of this set of instruments, scientists try to observe the light produced by the explosion in more wavelengths in order to get the most complete picture of its source. Anderson noted: "When faced with a type of cosmic explosion. When you see stellar debris being blasted away at nearly the speed of light, leaving behind a black hole, you are actually watching the physics of extreme environments that would be impossible to recreate on Earth. We still do not fully understand this process, and now the occurrence of such an explosion at a relatively long distance Closer means we can collect very high-quality data to study and understand how these bursts happen.

    Cover photo: A graphic of a gamma-ray burst
    Credit: NASA, ESA and M. Kornmesser

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