Space Scientists Discover the Brightest Gamma Explosion
NASA Satellites Detect Gamma-Ray Burst 2 Billion Light-Years Away.
NASA satellites have detected the brightest gamma-ray explosion in space. The astounding outburst came from a galaxy situated 2 billion light-years away, making it the “BOAT”—the brightest of all time. The burst, officially known as GRB 221009A, was observed on October 9, 2022, and was found to be 10 times brighter than any previous explosion of this type.
Gamma-ray bursts (GRB) are the most violent explosions known to exist in the Universe, releasing more energy than the Sun would in 10 billion years. They result from cataclysmic supernova explosions as massive stars come to the end of their lives.
The experts, including academics from the University of Leicester, have released detailed analysis of the powerful explosion that illuminated much of the galaxy. Images of the rare and powerful cosmic phenomenon show a halo and “bullseye” like shapes. The burst was so bright that most gamma-ray instruments in space couldn’t measure its true intensity; they were literally blinded by the light.
The University of Sydney release notes that the brightness of this GRB means that scientists can collect much better data than usual and move beyond simple models of the GRB physics that are typically used, which just can’t explain these data. The burst will provide valuable information to help scientists better understand the nature and composition of gamma ray bursts.
Dr Andy Beadmore, who is also part of the Swift team at the University of Leicester, said: “These patterns are not just beautiful but are also useful scientifically. We’re seeing a significant amount of dust in our galaxy being lit up by the intense burst of light from the GRB – two billion light years away – like a torch shining through a cloud. This lets us study its nature and composition, which was found to extend to large distances from the Sun.”