Astronomers Use Hubble Space Telescope To Observe The Brightest Gamma-Ray Burst

22 Novembre, 2019, 03:39 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The HESS telescopes in Namibia are on the alert for high-energy gamma rays. HESS Collaboration  Clementina Medina

Shown in this illustration, gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the universe.

The researchers who made these detections believe that the observations suggest that until now, scientists may have failed to see a whopping half of the energy that gamma-ray bursts can emit. The highest energy photons are more likely to be lost to these encounters. "Now it turns out that these gamma ray bursts are even more powerful than that". However, even so bright, astronomers have not been able to observe it directly. The following gamma rays proceed to journey through interstellar space, a few of which ultimately attain Earth.

While gamma-rays, which exist as packets of electromagnetic energy known as photons, have been observed from the ground before, this is the first time they have been measured. After that, the signal diminished relatively quickly. They can be as short as a fraction of a second or span as long as several minutes, with an average time of about 30 seconds. Hubble images acquired in February and March captured the burst's optical afterglow.

Initially, the energy monster was sighted by the Swift-BAT and Fermi satellites.

"Twenty years ago, we designed MAGIC specifically to search for VHE emission from GRBs, so this is a tremendous success for our team", said co-author Razmik Mirzoyan, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich and the spokesperson for the MAGIC collaboration. "That's why the MAGIC telescopes feature a fully automated system in order to process satellite signals".

A paper outlining the Hubble observations appears in the journal Nature. As a result, the researchers now have a detailed picture of this gamma outbreak.

Researchers found that the explosion occurred especially in the dense atmosphere of the galaxy five billion light years away. This falls just shy of 100 GeV, the threshold for so-called very high-energy (VHE) gamma rays.

The burst was first discovered on 20 July 2018, and the H.E.S.S continued monitoring it until a signature was detected. This star is about 29 thousand light years away from the Earth at this time. As the temperature in the star increases, the core shrinks and collapses completely.

The most common type of GRB occurs when a star much more massive than the Sun runs out of fuel.

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The ejected material is then forced through the gas surrounding the star, triggering a monstrous shockwave that creates the GRB itself.

A violent explosion in a distant galaxy has broken the record for the brightest light ever seen.

Ku They're very rare, Paul says Paul Kuin for gamma ray bursts. And these light particles, or photons, are helping astronomers understand how these particles are boosted to such extreme energies.

However, one problem is the high energy in the afterglow of GRB190114c.

The astronomical event emitted some of the highest energy observed of about 1Tera electron volt (TeV) that is equivalent to one trillion times as much energy per photon as visible light. All this means that theoreticians are scrambling to find an explanation. In this way, the light particles actually reach levels in the TeV range.

Scientists suspect that most of the gamma rays from GRB afterglows originate in magnetic fields at the jet's leading edge.

Whatever the case, the two observations described certainly provide deeper insights in to the nature of gamma-ray outbreaks. Move with relativistic velocities, this shower produces a bluish light is detected, called Cherenkov light, which can be detected by, appropriately enough, Cherenkov telescopes.

A world workforce of astronomers has detected a pair of gamma-ray bursts with energies extra highly effective than something ever seen earlier than. Satellites previously have been used to observe the Cherenkov light, but their instruments are not sensitive enough to detect super-high-energy events because they produce low light.

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