We all have to somehow live with the idea that there are countless destructive forces in the Universe that could wipe out our entire planet in a split second. Whether we’re talking about black holes, quasars, supernovae, or gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), these phenomenons are billions of times more dangerous than a huge asteroid.
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have astonished astronomers for many years since they’re the most energetic blasts of light from the Cosmos. But while they have pretty much failed at explaining why these phenomenons happen, a new study that LiveScience.com writes about sheds some light on the mystery.
Supeernovae could be to blame
The researchers modeled the interactions between gamma rays and other sources of high energy. They found two leading explanations for the gamma-ray mystery of the empty sky.
Matt Roth, the lead author of the study and also an astrophysicist working at the Australian National University in Canberra, declared:
We modelled the gamma-ray emission from all the galaxies in the Universe and compared our results with the predictions for other sources and found that it is star-forming galaxies that produce the majority of this diffuse gamma-ray radiation and not the AGN process.
Obviously, one of the explanations has to do with supernovae, and there are a lot of them out there. Some astronomers even estimate that a supernova occurs every second in the Universe. The cosmic rays, meaning the highly energetic particles born from the blast, could collide with other particles between stars. This could lead to the creation of gamma-rays.
The other explanation implies that gas falls into supermassive black holes from the center of galaxies. But as gas particles get attracted to the event horizon, a small part of them escape and begin to radiate in jets of matter. Those jets could be responsible for triggering gamma-ray bursts.
The new study was published in Nature.