Astronomers using the 8.1 meter Gemini South telescope in Chile have detected the aftermath of one of the most powerful explosions ever recorded.
In the early-morning hours of October 14, 2022 Gemini South detected a huge gamma-ray burst—a massive short-lived energy burst—from 2.4 billion light-years away.
The wave of X-rays and gamma rays that passed through the solar system was likely triggered by a supernova explosion giving birth to a black hole according to scientists.
Called GRB221009A, the bright, glowing remains of the cosmic explosion were detected near the constellation Sagitta, which is close to the famous “summer triangle” of stars.
“The exceptionally long GRB 221009A is the brightest GRB ever recorded and its afterglow is smashing all records at all wavelengths,” said Brendan O’Connor (University of Maryland/George Washington University, a member of two Rapid Target of Opportunity imaging teams using Gemini South.
The formation of a black hole pushes jets of particles that travel at nearly the speed of light, emitting X-rays and gamma rays as they do.
It was initially caught by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, its Wind spacecraft and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory on October 9. It captivated astronomers, according to NASA, who called it “the birth cry of a new black hole” that formed in the heart of a massive star collapsing under its own weight.
It’s being seen as a once-in a lifetime opportunity for astronomers to better understand the origin of elements heavier than iron. It’s unknown whether they originate from only from the mergers of neutron stars—the collapsed cores of a massive supergiant star over 10 times the mass of our Sun—or also from collapsing stars that trigger such gamma-ray bursts.
“Because this burst is so bright and also nearby, we think this is a once-in-a-century opportunity to address some of the most fundamental questions regarding these explosions, from the formation of black holes to tests of dark matter models,” said O’Connor. “The Gemini observations will allow us to utilize this nearby event to the fullest and seek out the signatures of heavy elements formed and ejected in the massive star collapse.”
It’s thought that another gamma-ray burst this bright may not appear for decades or even centuries.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.
A growing number of private equity-backed companies seeking bankruptcy protection could be a sign that more of these businesses are struggling to service their
Drug companies to pay Illinois $518 million as part of opioid settlement - CBS Chicago Watch CBS News
Skillz, a mobile gaming company headquartered in San Francisco for the past decade, announced its relocation to Las Vegas this week — continuing the trend of
It looks like Google is going to extra leng