Black hole formation generates the largest explosion ever seen from Earth

Black hole formation generates the largest explosion ever seen from Earth

In the early morning hours of October 14, 2022, astronomers using the Gemini South Telescope in Chile observed the unprecedented consequences of one of the most powerful eruptions ever recorded, the event classified as a gamma-ray burst GRB221009A. Since then, NASA and universities in many countries have been analyzing the event described as unprecedented in the era of astronomical observation, such as The space agency highlighted in a statement. The The astrophysics community saw the data in shock When they reach their tentacles.

This artist’s illustration published by NASA shows what a 2.4 billion light-year-long jet of lightning would look like if we could stand it | NASA / Swift / Wild Cross

The record-breaking event, first detected on October 9, 2022 by orbiting X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes, is 2.4 billion light-years from Earth and likely caused a supernova explosion that created a black hole.

The gigantic cosmic explosion has caused an uproar from astronomers around the world who are scrambling to study the effects of what is the closest, and possibly the most, gamma ray burst (GRB) ever observed on our planet. Recently published observations by two independent teams using the Gemini South Telescope in Chile targeted the bright remnants of the explosion, which likely foreshadowed a supernova giving rise to a black hole.

The origin of the cosmic ray super event occurred about 2.4 billion light-years away in the direction of the constellation Sagitta. It was first detected on the morning of October 9 by X-ray and gamma-ray space telescopes, including NASA’s Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope, Neil Gehrells Swift Observatory, and the Wind spacecraft.

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With word of this discovery spreading rapidly, two teams of astronomers worked closely with the Gemini South team to obtain the first possible observations of the afterglow of this historic eruption. Communications were sent to fellow astronomers via NASA’s Gamma Ray Coordination Network, whose archives are now filled with reports from around the world.

Astronomers believe that the massive arrival of cosmic rays on our planet represents the collapse of a star several times the mass of our Sun, which in turn unleashes an extremely powerful supernova and leads to the emergence of a black hole.

In our research group, we We refer to this explosion as a “boat.” [sigla em inglês para a mais brilhante de todos os tempos] Because when you look at the thousands of bursts that have been observed by gamma-ray telescopes since the 1990s, this is the most remarkable one.Jillian Rastingad, an astronomer at Northwestern University, said in a statement.

“It was an extremely rare event. It was so bright that it fired two Swift gamma-ray telescopes twice and completely saturated the detectors—something I had not seen in my time observing these rings in space,” he said.

This sequence created from data from the Fermi telescope reveals a gamma-ray sky centered at the site of the GRB 221009A event. Each frame shows gamma rays with energies greater than 100 million electronvolts (MeV), with brighter colors indicating a stronger gamma ray signal. In total, they account for more than 10 hours of observations. The brightness of the middle plane of the Milky Way is shown as a wide diagonal band. The diameter of the image is about 20 degrees. | NASA/DOE/Fermilat

When black holes form, they push out powerful bursts of particles that accelerate to nearly the speed of light. These jets then blast through what’s left of the progenitor star, emitting x-rays and gamma rays as they stream through space. If these jets are directed in the general direction of the Earth, they are observed as bright flashes of X-rays and gamma rays. Another gamma-ray burst of this brightness may not appear for decades or even centuries.

The Fast-Glowing X-ray Telescope captured from the cosmic ray glow of GRB 221009. The bright rings form as a result of X-rays scattered in the unobservable layers of dust within our galaxy that lie in the direction of the explosion. | NASA / Swift / A. Birdmore / University of Leicester

Independent teams of observers led by graduate students Brendan O’Connor (University of Maryland/George Washington University) and Gillian Rastingad (Northwestern University) are now developing the study of this event. “Because this explosion is so bright and so close, we think this is a once-in-a-century opportunity to address some of the fundamental questions about these explosions, from the formation of black holes to testing dark matter models,” he said. Connor.

Images taken in visible light by Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope show how the afterglow of GRB 221009A (circled) faded over the course of about 10 hours. The explosion appeared in the constellation Sagitta and occurred about two billion years ago. | NASA/Swift/B. Senko

You are Cosmic rays interfered with unprecedented intensity in radio broadcasts. Andrew Klekociuk in Tasmania recorded the effect using a ground probe antenna. “I’m a climate scientist in the Australian Antarctic Department – that’s my day job,” says Klekociuk. “VLF (Very Low Radio Frequency) is my hobby. I started doing VLF radio measurements in the 1970s when I was in high school. This is the first time I’ve detected a gamma ray burst.

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Klekociuk uses the Earth itself as a giant antenna. In his backyard, there are metal nails stuck in the ground 75 meters away. It is connected to a receiver via buried wires. In recent years, amateur radio operators have experimented with this strange type of antenna to detect VLF radio signals orbiting our planet. The Earth’s crust acts as a giant sensor.

Researchers have known since 1983 that gamma-ray bursts can ionize Earth’s atmosphere and thus disrupt radio waves. The October 9 explosion shocked astronomers. Phil Evans of the University of Leicester wrote: “It’s fantastic. So bright. Like, stupidly so bright.” Evans works with data from NASA’s Swift Gamma Ray Observatory, and the giant signal was beyond the capabilities of his planning software.

Meanwhile, other observers in the UK and Germany have also reported ionospheric disturbances caused by the explosion. They were all wearing regular above-ground antennas.

Although gamma-ray bursts are captured several times a week, Northwestern University astrophysicist Win Fei Fong asserts that “since we were able to detect gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), there is no doubt that this GRB is the most intelligent. We have already seen double 10 or more, ”compare.

If the explosion is indeed linked to the formation of a hole in space by a black hole, as scientists imagine, it could provide valuable insights into how matter behaves as it travels near the speed of light, and how stars collapse into unimaginably dense voids. In a broader sense and what conditions they might be in a galaxy other than our own.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

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