STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists have managed to take a peek at one of the most explosive events which can take place in the universe, and even managed to record it. We are talking, of course, about gamma ray bursts. They occur as huge stars explode, and might lead to catastrophic consequences.
What are gamma ray bursts?
Stars explode, marking the birth of a black hole. Such events are often accompanied by additional bursts of energy, namely gamma ray bursts. These phenomena consist of ionized matter which spew at incredible speeds, almost reaching the speed of light. They are also followed by short-lived flashes of light.
Although brief, these pulsations could have led to the mass extinction which took place on Earth billions of years ago. If another gamma ray burst would be directed towards our planet, another such event might become the harsh reality.
As mentioned before, gamma ray bursts last for an incredibly small amount of time, about several milliseconds. This is why they are so difficult to study and to capture. However, they can emit a tremendous amount of energy, about the same amount of radiation produced by a star the size of the sun in its entire lifetime. And everything is over in a matter of seconds.
Scientists managed to record such an event and analyze it
Even so, scientists managed to put up quite a detailed description of gamma ray bursts, published in the journal Nature. This happened thanks to the monitoring of an instance, dubbed GBR160625B. It was picked up last year in June, by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. With the help of this recording, NASA scientists could analyze the phenomenon and acquire a better understanding of it.
They discovered the gamma ray burst was produced during a black hole formation. The spew was produced by both matter and its magnetic field, and challenged the previous theory that only one of them can cause the sudden jet emission.
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