Scientists may know what made the biggest explosion in the universe that humanity has ever seen so powerful.
Astronomers found that the brightest gamma radiation (GRB) had the most unique jet structure ever seen and was dragging with it an unusually large amount of stellar material.
This may explain the extreme properties of the explosion, which was triggered when it was massive star about 2.4 billion light years from Earth It underwent complete gravitational collapse before being born in the direction of the Sagitta constellation. black holeand also why its afterglow persisted for so long.
GRB is officially appointed GRB 221009A but nicknamed BOAT, or Brightest of All Time, was observed on October 9, 2023, and stood out from other GRBs due to its extreme nature. It appeared as a very bright flash of high-energy gamma rays, followed by an afterglow that faded over many wavelengths.
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“GRB 221009A represents a major step forward in our understanding of gamma-ray bursts and shows that the most extreme bursts do not obey the standard physics accepted for garden-variety gamma-ray bursts,” lead author Brendan O’Connor, a researcher at George Washington University. stated in the statement. O’Connor led the team that continued to observe BOAT GRBs with the Gemini South telescope in Chile after the initial detection in October 2023.
Doctoral candidate of Northwestern University Gillian RastinajadOn October 14, BOAT was part of the group that observed it after its first opening. Live Science said GRB 221009A is estimated to be at least 10 times brighter than other high-energy GRBs.
“High-energy photons were detected from this GRB Large Hadron Collider (LHC) produces,” he said.
Even before BOAT was observed, GRBs were considered the most powerful, violent and energetic explosions in the world. universecapable of releasing so much energy in a matter of seconds day produced over a lifetime of about ten billion years. There are two types of these explosions, long-period and short-period, with different triggering mechanisms, both of which lead to the formation of a black hole.
Further study of the powerful GRB revealed that it is unique in its structure and brightness. GRBs were surprisingly broad. It is so wide that astronomers could not see its edges at first.
“Our work clearly shows that GRBs have a unique structure, observations have gradually revealed a narrow jet embedded within a wider gas jet where one would expect an isolated jet,” said co-author Hendrik Van Erten, a scientist in the Department of Physics at the University of Bath. stated in the statement.
Thus, GRB 221009A appears to have broad and narrow “wings” that distinguish it from other GRBs. This could explain why BOAT’s afterglow continued to be seen by astronomers at several wavelengths for months after its initial discovery.
Van Erten and team have a theory that gives the BOAT current its unique structure.
“GRB jets must pass through the collapsing star where they are forming,” he said. “We think that what was different in this case was the amount of mixing between the stellar material and the outflow, so that the shock-heated gas formed before any characteristic jet signature appeared in our source sequence. would have been lost in the total emission of the afterglow.”
Van Eerten also noted that the findings could help us understand not only BOATs, but also other incredibly bright GRBs.
“GRB 221009A may be the Rosetta Stone equivalent of long GRBs, forcing us to rethink our standard theories of how massive jets form in collapsing stars,” added O’Connor.
As scientists are still trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding these powerful bursts of energy, the discovery could lay the foundation for future research on GRBs. The results may help physicists better model the structure of GRB jets.
“For a long time, we thought airplanes were shaped like ice cream cones,” said study author Alexander van der Horst, an associate professor of physics at George Washington University. “However, some gamma-ray bursts in recent years, in particular the work presented here, show that we need more sophisticated models and more detailed computer simulations of gamma-ray bursts.”
The team’s research is detailed in a journal article Scientific achievements.
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