Gamma ray explosion detected 10 billion light years from Earth

Astronomers have detected the remaining brightness of a gamma-ray explosion (SGRB) that occurred in a galaxy 10 billion light-years from Earth. The observation corresponds to the second most distant record of a SGRB already documented and may help scientists study the dynamics of the universe in its “adolescent” phase – or 3.8 billion years after the Big Bang.

The eruptions of gamma rays constitute one of the most intense phenomena in the universe. According to scientists, they can be up to a fifth of times brighter than the Sun. The origin of these explosions is associated with collisions of nutron stars – supermassive bodies formed from the collapsed core of a large star.

Telescope SGRB records, however, are extremely rare, since the remaining sparkles from the explosion disappear in a few hours. In addition, the signals are very timid, which makes observation even more difficult.

To capture the new explosion, astronomers had a little luck and agility. Named SGRB181123B, the event was first detected by the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, administered by NASA, in November 2018. Within hours, scientists remotely accessed the Gemini Norte telescope, located in Hava, and took measurements to record the phenomenon.


The remaining brightness captured by the Gemini North telescope is marked with a circle. Image: International Gemini Observatory / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA /

Then, the team used the near infrared spectrometer present at the Gemini Sul observatory, in Chile. By analyzing the spectrum of the galaxy corresponding to the SGRB, the researchers determined that the event occurred at least 10 billion years ago. The whole process was reported in an article published this Tuesday (14) in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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“With SGRBs, you don’t detect anything if you arrive too late. But every now and then, if you react quickly enough, you get really beautiful detection like this,” said Wen-fai Fong, senior author of the study and associated astrophysicist Northwestern University (USA), in a note published in EurekAlert.


After the distance from the gamma-ray explosion, astronomers started studies on the star populations of the galaxy that produced the event and were able to analyze the fusion of nutron stars during the “teen” period of the universe.

“Finding an SGRB at this time in the history of the universe suggests that, at the time when the universe was forming many stars, the pair of nutron stars [que provocou a exploso] may have merged quickly, “said Fang.

J Kerry Paterson, lead author of the research, believes that the study still addresses a small portion of the various mysteries that still surround the blasts of distant gamma rays. “This motivates us to continue to study past events and to look closely at future ones,” he says in an EurekAlert article.

Source: CNET / EurekAlert


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