December 9, 2022

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An unusually massive and powerful supernova explosion in space discovered by scientists

An unusually massive and powerful supernova explosion in space discovered by scientists

In space, things often he goes bubble.

And recently, on October 9, astronomers noticed an unusual massive boom. NASA’s Swift Observatory, specially designed to detect the most powerful explosions known in the universe today – called gamma-ray bursts – detected such an extremely powerful explosion. Something very powerful must produce these jets of energy traveling through them outer spaceScientists say they are caused by the collapse and explosion of massive stars, called events supernovae.

For a star to become a supernova, it must be very massive – at least eight times the size the sun. But for a supernova to produce the most powerful kind of gamma-ray burst, the star must be About 30 to 40 times the size of the sun. This powerful new discovery, so rare that we’ll probably notice something this big once every decade, came from such a massive star.

“It’s a very unique event,” said Yvette Sendez, an astronomer and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsHe told Mashable.

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Most importantly, you don’t have to worry. This massive explosion occurred in a galaxy 2 billion light-years away. At such a distance, its energy, which has been traveling and spreading through space over eons, poses no danger to us. But we can easily, using satellites, detect it.

“It’s the equivalent of getting front row seats at a fireworks display,” Cendez explained.

(Gamma rays are on the same radiation spectrum as the likes of AM and FM radio, visible light you can see, and X-rays, though gamma rays have the most energy.)

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“This is incredibly rare.”

Astronomers have never seen a gamma-ray burst in the galactic neighborhood (meaning the local galaxies around us). This is because stellar explosions themselves are not very common. A star in our Milky Way galaxy will transform into a supernova once every century. Sendes noted that a massive star, of the kind required to produce an extremely bright and long (on the order of several minutes) gamma-ray burst, only explodes once every million years in a medium-sized galaxy like ours.

“This is incredibly rare,” Cendez said.

Gamma ray bursts are detected at a distance due to their presence Hundreds of billions of galaxies In the depths of the universe, teeming with stars. There are relatively few chances of such an event happening near us, compared to the wider universe. (Moreover, to find out, you have to face the direction of the “suppression” of the energy emitted into space from the explosion).

Artist’s depiction of a gamma-ray burst from an exploding star.
Credit: NASA/ESA/. M. Cornmeiser

Because these gamma-ray bursts often occur several billion light-years away, instruments designed to detect these signals are very sensitive. This is another reason for this discovery, which was relatively “close”, was intense and “bright”.

“It’s like pointing a telescope toward the sun,” Seendez explained. “It saturates the detectors.” The explosion “is considered one of the brightest known events,” NASA noticed.

You may be wondering what happens now to the exploding star after such a dramatic collapse and explosion. It may have turned into a black hole. Most black holes consist of the remains of a large star that dies in a supernova explosion. NASA notes.

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Subsequent stream of gamma ray burst

NASA’s Swift Telescope captured the “after-flow” of the powerful gamma-ray burst about an hour after the agency detected the event.
Image Credit: NASA/Swift/A Birdmore (University of Leicester).

Black holes are incredibly intriguing cosmic objects. as such I previously mentioned MashableBlack holes are places where matter is crushed into an intensely compressed region. If Earth were (hypothetically) crushed into a black hole, it would be less than an inch wide. However, the object would still be very massive, because it would contain the entire mass of our planet. This results in a place with a very strong gravitational pull, and not even light can escape. (Things with more mass have a stronger attraction.)

Astronomers like Cendes now Watch the dramatic aftermath of a gamma ray burst Using powerful telescopes, such as the Submillimeter Array radio telescope over Mauna Kea, in Hawaii.

So the universe is rolling. star dies. A black hole is born. And intelligent life, about two billion light-years away, discovers that everything happens.

Update: Oct 17, 2022 at 7:45am UTC This story has been updated to reflect the exact date that astronomers discovered the powerful gamma-ray burst.