NASA Spots Burst of Gamma Rays That Sets a New Record

NASA Spots Burst of Gamma Rays That Sets a New Record
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Supernovae represent the huge explosion of a star. It may be surprising for you that even stars die at a certain point. Astronomers had always been fascinated by the ultimate fate of a star.

Surely we wouldn’t want our precious planet to stand in the way of a supernova. Everything we know and see would become history. But even so, supernovae are still interesting to study. It’s like in the case of our sun. Although it would surely kill us if we get too close, it still sustains all living organisms on Earth.

Record-breaking gamma-ray burst detected in 2020

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope is always ready for new challenges. It proves it last year in August. Phys.org reveals that the space agency used it to locate a pulse of high energy radiation racing towards Earth. It lasted for only about a second.

Thus, it’s a record-breaking GRB (gamma-ray burst) – the shortest caused by a massive star’s death.

Known as GRB 200826A, the burst lasted for only 0.65 seconds. The signal travelled for aeons across the Universe. When it was detected by the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor of Fermi, the signal became about one second long.

Feel free to watch the video explaining the discovery, as posted by the “NASA Gubbard” channel:

Bin-bin Zhang from Nanjing University in China and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, declared as quoted by Phys.org:

We already knew some GRBs from massive stars could register as short GRBs, but we thought this was due to instrumental limitations,

This burst is special because it is definitely a short-duration GRB, but its other properties point to its origin from a collapsing star. Now we know dying stars can produce short bursts, too.

Gamma rays are also known as the highest-energy form of light.

The new study was published in Nature Astronomy.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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