An unusual gamma-ray burst reached the Earth: a rare astronomical event occurred in space

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An unusual gamma-ray burst has reached the Earth: a rare astronomical event has occurred in space

Scientists have discovered a very rare cosmic event that completely changes the existing understanding of cosmic explosions.

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U.S. astronomers using ground and space telescopes have discovered a very unusual gamma-ray burst – a stream of high-energy radiation, which occurred as a result of the collision of two neutron stars. And this gamma-ray burst is changing the way cosmic explosions happen, writes the Daily Mail.

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Scientists have detected a long gamma-ray burst, lasting 50 seconds, which they called GRB21121A in the galaxy SDSS J140910.47+275320.8, which located at a distance of 1.1 billion light years from us. That is, in order to reach the Earth, this radiation flux covered such a huge distance.

Gamma-ray bursts are short (lasting up to 2 seconds) and long (lasting several tens of seconds or even hours). It was previously believed that long gamma-ray bursts are the result of an explosion of a huge star called a supernova.

Scientists from Northwestern University, Illinois, USA, studied the source of the gamma-ray burst and found a very faint object that quickly disappeared. But supernovae don't just disappear, and they are much brighter, so scientists realized they had discovered something unexpected that was previously thought impossible.

An unusual gamma-ray burst has reached the Earth: a rare astronomical event has occurred in space

 An unusual gamma-ray burst reached the Earth: a rare astronomical event occurred in space

It turned out that this radiation flux arose as a result of the collision of two neutron stars (these are stars that appear after a supernova explosion), after which a a large-scale cosmic explosion called a kilonova. Such events are very rare, but nevertheless, astronomers know that they occur either after the collision of two neutron stars, or after the collision of a neutron star and a black hole.

“When we discovered this long gamma-ray burst, we were looking for evidence of a supernova, but instead we witnessed a kilonova. This changes the idea of ​​​​gamma-ray bursts themselves and similar cosmic explosions. It turns out that long gamma-ray bursts can also give birth to mergers of neutron stars , because it was previously thought that only short gamma-ray bursts were produced as a result of this event,” says Jillian Rastinjad of Northwestern University.

 An unusual gamma-ray burst has reached the Earth: a rare astronomical event has occurred in space gamma-vsplesk-v-kosmose-proizoshlo-redkoe-astronomicheskoe-sobytie-f4ddf57.jpg

According to scientists, this unexpected discovery is very important for astronomy and for understanding the processes that occur in the universe.

But not only did the GRB21121A gamma-ray burst come as a surprise to scientists, but its home galaxy also surprised. The fact is that it is young and a powerful formation of new stars takes place in it. But this galaxy is the exact opposite of the galaxy NGC 4993, in which the only gamma-ray burst known to scientists so far was discovered, which appeared as a result of the merger of two neutron stars. This beam of radiation was named GW170817, but it was a short gamma-ray burst.

An unusual gamma-ray burst has reached the Earth: a rare astronomical event has occurred in space

 An unusual gamma-ray burst has reached the Earth: a rare astronomical event has occurred in space

As for the kilonova, this event is one of the sources of some of the heaviest elements in the Universe. But kilonovae are very difficult to observe, as they disappear very quickly.

“But now we know that long gamma-ray bursts can be used to find kilonovae. And with the help of the Webb Space Telescope, we can look inside these explosions , to confirm some existing theories,” says Rastinjad.

As Focus already wrote, the world's largest new SKA radio telescope, the construction of which began a few days ago, will help unravel some of the mysteries of the universe in Africa and Australia. It will consist of two parts, but will work as a whole.

As Focus already wrote, astronomers have discovered a record radiation flux in space, which appeared as a result of a huge explosion.

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