Scientists have discovered a huge, unusually powerful supernova explosion in space

Scientists have discovered a huge, unusually powerful supernova explosion in space
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In space, often things go explosion.

And recently, in October. On the 9th, astronomers observed an unusually huge boom. NASA’s Swift ObservatorySpecially designed to detect the most powerful explosions known in the universe today – so-called gamma-ray bursts – it detected such an extremely powerful explosion. Something wildly powerful must produce these jets of moving energy spaceand scientists say they are caused by the collapse and explosion of giant stars. supernovae.

For a star to go supernova, it must be extremely massive—at least eight times as massive the sun. But for a supernova to produce its most powerful gamma-ray burst, it must be a star. Add 30-40 times the size of the sun. This new powerful detection is so rare that we only see something of this magnitude come from such a powerful star probably only once every decade.

“This is a very unique event,” said astronomer and postdoctoral fellow Yvette Cendes Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysicsawning Mashable.

The main thing is not to worry. This terrible explosion occurred in a galaxy 2 billion light years away. At such a distance, its energy, which has been traveling and spreading through space for centuries, does not pose any danger to us. But we can detect it easily with satellites.

“It’s like sitting in the front row at a fireworks show,” Cendes said.

(Although gamma rays have the most energy, gamma rays are in the same radiation spectrum as AM and FM radio, visible light, and X-rays.)

“It’s incredibly, incredibly rare.”

Astronomers have never seen gamma-ray bursts in our galactic neighborhood (meaning the local galaxies around us). This is because starbursts themselves are not very common. A star in our Milky Way galaxy will go supernova once a century. But the massive star needed for an extremely bright and long (several minutes) gamma-ray burst only explodes once a million years in a medium-sized galaxy like ours, Cendes noted.

“It’s incredibly, incredibly rare,” Cendes said.

Since there are gamma-ray bursts, they are detected at great distances hundreds of billions of galaxies in deep space full of stars. Compared to the vast universe, the chances of such an event happening near us are relatively small. (Also, to detect it, you have to face the direction of the “funnel” of energy released by the explosion into space.)

Artist's concept of a gamma-ray burst from an exploding star

An artist’s rendering of gamma rays from an exploding star.
Credit: NASA / ESA /. M. Kornmesser

Because these gamma-ray bursts often occur billions of light years away, the instruments built to detect these signals are extremely sensitive. This is another reason why this relatively “close” detection is so dense and “bright”.

“It’s like pointing a telescope at the sun,” Cendes explained. “It saturated the detectors.” The explosion “ranks among the most brilliant events known” NASA noted.

After such a dramatic collapse and explosion, you might wonder what happened to the exploding star now. Most likely, it turned into a black hole. “Most black holes are the remnants of a massive star that died in a supernova explosion.” NASA notes.

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the outflow after a gamma-ray burst

NASA’s Swift telescope captured the “flux” of a powerful gamma-ray burst about an hour after the agency detected the event.
Credit: NASA / Swift / A. Beardmore (University of Leicester)

Black holes are incredibly interesting cosmic objects. Horse Mashable previously reported, black holes are places where matter has condensed into a dense field. If the Earth were (hypothetically) crushed into a black hole, it would be less than an inch across. However, the object will still be extremely massive, as it will contain all the mass of our planet. As a result, the gravitational force is so strong that even light cannot escape. (Things with more mass have a stronger gravitational pull.)

Astronomers like Cendes now watching the aftermath of a dramatic gamma-ray burst Using powerful telescopes such as the Submillimeter Array radio telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

So the universe rolls. A star day. A black hole is formed. And intelligent life 2 billion light years away detects that all this is happening.

UPDATE: October 17, 2022, 7:45 UTC This story has been updated to reflect the exact date astronomers detected the powerful gamma-ray burst.

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