Record: Most severe gamma eruption observed to date Astrophysics

Record: Most severe gamma eruption observed to date

A cosmic explosion of gigantic proportions kept astronomers on tenterhooks in mid-October - the closest and possibly most energetic gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever observed. The GRB, designated GRB 221009A, occurred at a distance of about 2.4 billion light-years in the direction of the constellation Arrow. It was first detected on the morning of Oct. 9 by X-ray and gamma-ray space telescopes, including NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and the Wind spacecraft. As news of this discovery quickly spread, two teams of astronomers worked closely with Gemini South staff to obtain the earliest possible observations…
Heavy stars die in a cocoon Space

Heavy stars die in a cocoon

When it’s time for particularly heavy stars to die, they don’t go without a lot of fireworks. If a star that has run out of fuel has a mass greater than 25 times the mass of the Sun, its core will collapse and form a neutron star or a black hole, and gigantic jets of matter will be emitted at its poles. These jets penetrate through the outermost layers of the star and generate so much gamma radiation that astronomers can observe these jets as flashes (Gamma Ray Bursts, GRBs). (more…)