Astronomers recorded the most powerful gamma-ray burst in history

The GRB221009A gamma-ray burst recorded on October 9 is the strongest in history. The photon energy from it is 18 TeV. It is believed that it was formed during the outbreak of an extremely powerful supernova. 

Gamma-ray burst. Source: ESO/A. Roquette

The most powerful gamma-ray burst in history

On October 9, the orbital observatory recorded an extremely powerful flare, the maximum of which was in the X-ray and gamma-ray range. At first, scientists decided that this was a relatively small flare that occurred somewhere in our Galaxy. It was designated as Swift J1913.1+1946.

However, later analysis of the parameters of the burst showed that it actually occurred 2.4 billion light-years away from us and is one of the most powerful ever recorded. Then it was renamed GRB221009A.

The Chinese High Altitude Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO), designed to study Cherenkov radiation, also studied this burst. It determined that the photons from it had an energy of 18 TeV. 

In the entire history of observations of the sky, only a few events have been recorded, photons from which had energy measured by TeV. And the energy above 10 TeV has never been observed in a single particle before. For comparison, the most powerful collision in the Large Hadron Collider had an energy of only 13 TeV, and this result consisted of the energies of two particles.

What caused this outburst?

Gamma-ray bursts are one of the most powerful processes known to mankind. During them, in a matter of seconds, as much energy is released as a star like our Sun emits for 10 billion years. 

At the same time, they are of several types, which may differ in the source and nature of the flow. For example, in 2017, during the collision of two neutron stars, astronomers observed a short gamma-ray burst.

The nature of GRB221009A is not known. But so far it looks more like a long gamma-ray burst. These colossal flares are formed when the largest stars in the universe die. An extremely powerful supernova flare gives enormous energy to the particles.

GRB221009A research is still ongoing. So far it is known that it took place in a distant galaxy, where there is an increased amount of dust. Perhaps in the future astronomers will understand what made it so powerful.

According to www.

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