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A gamma ray from space amazes researchers

A gamma ray from space amazes researchers

© ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Weiss (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

gamma ray bursts They are high-energy explosions that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. They are associated with the collapse of massive stars. However, the new observation challenges previous knowledge of gamma rays.

Astrophysicists Northwestern University They recently noticed an outbreak of 50 seconds duration, which, after careful investigation, they attribute to an extremely rare phenomenon: the so-called kilonova.

A kilonova is a high-intensity merger event neutron star With a compact and strong body, like a file Black hole or another neutron star. In general, a neutron star represents the last stage of a massive star.

A paradigm shift for astronomy

It is estimated that a gamma ray burst exists billion light years Far from Earth – seen astronomically relatively close to our planet. “This event looks unlike anything we’ve seen before from a long gamma-ray burst,” says the PhD student. Jillian Rastingad. According to her, it represents an exciting paradigm shift for astronomy.

The galaxy that houses the kilonova is also surprising. She is still young and still making stars. According to the researchers, it is roughly the opposite galaxy in which mergers of other known neutron stars have been observed relatively close to Earth.

“We now know that gamma-ray bursts are much more difficult to classify. This evidence advances our understanding of Gram-ray bursts to an extreme,” says the co-author Eve Chase.

Follow-up investigations should now determine more details about this phenomenon. This is the best way to get a closer look at kilonovas James Webb Space Telescope.

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The study has been published in the journal Nature published.