June 16, 2024

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It’s the boat: Astronomers observe the ‘brightest’ gamma-ray burst ever

It's the boat: Astronomers observe the 'brightest' gamma-ray burst ever

Astronomers believe that the gamma-ray burst GRB 221009A marks the birth of a new black hole that formed inside the core of a collapsing star. Credit: NASA/Swift/Cruz de Wilde

On the morning of October 9, several satellite detectors picked up A Powerful gamma ray burst (GRB) passes through our solar system, sending astronomers around the world rushing to train their telescopes on that part of the sky to collect vital data on the event and its subsequent glow. Dubbed GRB 221009A, Astronomers say The gamma-ray burst is the most powerful yet recorded and is likely the “birth cry” of a new black hole. event was Posted immediately In the astronomy telegram, observations are still in progress.

“In our research group, we’ve been referring to this explosion as ‘BOAT,’ or the brightest of all time, because when you look at the thousands of explosions that gamma-ray telescopes have spotted since the 1990s, this telescope stands apart,” he said. Gillian RastingadHe is a graduate student at Northwestern University. Rastinejad led one of two independent teams using Southern Gemini Telescope in Chile to study the afterglow of the event.

“This eruption is much closer to typical GRBs, which is exciting because it allows us to detect many details that would otherwise be too faint to be seen.” Roberta Bellira said, a graduate student at the Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy, and a member of the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) Collaboration. “But it’s also among the most energetic and brightest of all, regardless of distance, which makes it doubly exciting.”

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Gamma ray bursts are extremely high-energy explosions in distant galaxies lasting from milliseconds to several hours. the first Gamma ray bursts Observed in the late sixties, thanks to the launch of villa satellites by the United States. Its purpose was to reveal the signatures of gamma rays for nuclear weapons tests following the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union. The United States feared that the Soviets were conducting secret nuclear tests, in violation of the treaty. In July 1967, two of those satellites picked up a flash of gamma radiation that was clearly not a signature of a nuclear weapons test.

Zoom / The Swift X-ray Telescope captured the afterglow of GRB 221009A about an hour after it was first detected.

NASA / Swift / A. Birdmore (University of Leicester)

This data was kept away, but later Vela satellites with improved instruments recorded many gamma-ray bursts. A team at Los Alamos National Laboratory analyzed when each explosion was detected by different satellites to estimate the location of the sky for 16 such bursts. They decided that the bursts were not from Earth or our solar system, and they published their conclusions in paper 1973 in The Astrophysical Journal.

There are two classes of gamma ray bursts. Most (70 percent) are long bursts lasting more than two seconds, often with a bright glow. These are usually associated with galaxies with rapidly forming stars. Astronomers believe the long explosions are related to the death of massive stars that collapse to form a neutron star or black hole (or alternatively, a newly formed one). magnetic). The small black hole will produce jets of high-energy particles moving near the speed of light, powerful enough to penetrate the remnants of the progenitor star, and emit X-rays and gamma rays.

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Gamma-ray bursts lasting less than two seconds (about 30 percent) are short bursts, usually emitted from regions of very little star formation. Astronomers believe that these gamma-ray bursts are the result of a merger of two neutron stars, or the merging of a neutron star with a black hole, forming a “kilonova”.

That was the hypothesis Confirmed in 2017, when the LIGO collaboration picked up the gravitational wave signal of two merging neutron stars, accompanied by strong gamma-ray bursts associated with kilonova. earlier this year, Observation of astrophysicists Mysterious X-rays that they thought could be first discovery From the twilight of a kilonova of the same merger. (Alternatively, it could be the first observation of matter falling into a black hole that formed after merging.)