Science Space

Astronomers capture a supernova’s fizzled-out gamma-ray blast

A gamma-ray burst, which is the most powerful type of explosion identified in the universe, that fizzled implies that these flares may not constantly work as scientists assumed and that some forms of such flares can be shockingly brief, according to researchers. In a few seconds to minutes, a conventional gamma-ray burst releases more energy than the sun is anticipated to radiate throughout the course of its 10-billion-year lifetime. Astronomers categorize gamma-ray bursts as short or long based on whether they last more than two seconds or less. Previous studies suggested that the short gamma-ray bursts are caused by the collision of two neutron stars, which are very dense stellar corpses generated when massive stars collapse.

On the other hand, long gamma-ray bursts are assumed to be connected to a cataclysmic explosion referred as a supernova, which occurs when a massive star collapses. Now, scientists have identified a short gamma-ray burst that originated from the destruction of a single huge star in the same way that the lengthy gamma-ray bursts do. Tomás Ahumada, an astronomy Ph.D. student at University of Maryland as well as Goddard Space Flight Center situated in Maryland, and the lead author of the study on the newest gamma-ray burst’s afterglow informed, “Dying stars also create extremely short gamma-ray bursts.”

GRB 200826A, a gamma-ray burst that originated in a galaxy around 6.6 billion light-years away in constellation Andromeda, was the center of scientists’ attention. The burst lasted about 0.65 seconds, but after traveling for eons via the expanding universe, the signal had stretched out to nearly 1 second when the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope of NASA spotted it on Aug. 26, 2020.

NASA’s Wind mission that orbits a point 930,000 miles between the sun and Earth; NASA’s Mars Odyssey, that is orbiting Red Planet since the year 2001; and the INTEGRAL satellite of European Space Agency (ESA), which debuted in 2002, all saw the burst. When astronomers first noticed gamma-ray burst and chose to investigate further, they anticipated finding evidence of a neutron star collision. Scientists, on the other hand, did not see anything like that.

Scientists investigated the gamma-ray burst’s host galaxy utilizing the Gemini North telescope that is in Hawaii 80, 28 and 45 days after the explosion was initially identified last summer. After the afterglow of burst faded away, these assessments revealed that it brightened again. The supernova that happened after the implosion that created gamma-ray burst itself was responsible for increasing energy. “We needed to distinguish the light of the explosion from its host galaxy’s light,” Ahumada stated of the data and picture analysis.

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