Everybody knows that stars are beautiful, but ironically enough, they become even more spectacular when they die. Collapsing stars release a tremendous amount of energy into space, resulting in an explosion of X-rays and gamma rays that could be even just as big and bright as an entire galaxy.
Also known as a supernova, the explosion resulted from a dying star that makes the subject of this article is located one billion light-years away. Although the distance is way too big to be travelled by any spaceship, the discovery means the closest gamma-ray burst that scientists were ever able to find. CNET.com brought the news, and there’s also a relevant video released by Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron that you can see below:
The Fermi and Swift satellites of NASA detected the gamma-ray burst known as GRB 190829A while aiming towards the Eridanus constellation in August 2019. Observatories around the world started to collect data about the event.
Neutron star or black hole?
Scientists aren’t sure yet if the explosion will ultimately result in a black hole or a neutron star. A neutron star is the remaining core of a normal star, having a huge density. Despite having a diameter of only 20 km wide, a neutron star also has a mass of around 1.4 times that of our Sun.
The supernova leading to the formation of a black hole is the other possible scenario. Black holes are among the most mysterious objects in the Universe, as they are described as regions of spacetime where gravity is unprecedently strong. Nothing, not even particles or even radiation, can escape the gravity of a black hole.
However, the gears of the future could be a lot more promising. Stefan Wagner, who is a spokesperson for the High Energy Stereoscopic System, declared:
Looking to the future, the prospects for the detection of gamma-ray bursts by next-generation instruments like the Cherenkov Telescope Array that is currently being built in the Chilean Andes and on the Canary Island of La Palma look promising.