A team of scientists just took the closest and clearest look yet at a gamma ray burst, one of the most powerful types of cosmic explosions known to humankind. According to science, gamma ray bursts or GBRs are so fierce, that the only event to surpass them in intensity is the Big Bang.
A Gamma Ray Burst is Incredibly Strong and Unbelievably Short
GBRs are believed to occur all the time, but they are usually at random and in galaxies billions of light years away from ours.
“Gamma-ray bursts are catastrophic events, related to the explosion of massive stars 50 times the size of our Sun,” explains Eleonora Troja. She is the study lead and part of the University of Maryland and NASA.
Troja continues by stating that a gamma ray burst could produce, in a ‘matter of seconds’, can emit as much energy as a Sun-like star would emit throughout its entire lifetime.
GBRs originate from newly formed black holes. Such regions are known for spewing jets of ionized matter at speed almost up to the speed of light. In doing so, they also produce extremely intense and very brief flashes known as GBRs.
These bursts are incredibly short, as they only last about a few milliseconds. In turn and coupled with their random appearance, it makes them an extremely difficult to study event.
Back in June 2016, scientists got the chance to take their closest yet look at such an event thanks to GRB160625B. This was spotted and recorded by the NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Although the flash lasted less than a second, it led scientists to start monitoring the space area from which it came from. This helped record, some three minutes later, a pulse which lasted 30 seconds.
Even for that one brief moment, the brightness factor of the GBR increased by 100 before slowly starting to fade away.
Thanks to the recording, researchers have been able to analyze and study how the gamma ray burst changed over time.
The research paper is available in the journal Nature. Further studies on this event are likely to continue.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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