Scientists solve the mystery of the brightest light explosion ever, but they discover new mysteries Sciences

Scientists solve the mystery of the brightest light explosion ever, but they discover new mysteries  Sciences

Illustration of the brightest cosmic explosion ever recorded – Image: Aaron M. Geller/BBC

Scientists from two American universities – UT and Northwestern – discovered Caused the brightest light explosion ever recorded.

But in doing so, they ended up facing off Two of the greatest mysteriesincluding one that casts doubt on the origin of heavy elements – such as gold.

Scientists have discovered that the burst of light, discovered in 2022, contains an exploding star at its centre.

But this explosion alone was not enough to shine so brightly.

Current theory is that some exploding stars — known as supernovas — can also produce the universe's heaviest elements, such as gold and platinum.

But the research team did not find any of these elements, Which raises new questions about how precious metals are produced.

Professor Catherine Hemans, from the University of Edinburgh and Astronomer Royal of Scotland, who was not involved in the research, says such results help improve science.

The universe is an amazing, wonderful, surprising place, and I love the way it throws these mysteries at us.

—Catherine Heymans

“The fact that it doesn't give us the answers we want is great, because we can go back to the drawing board, rethink everything again and come up with better theories.”

Supernovas occur when massive stars die, resulting in powerful explosions – Image: NASA/ESA/CSA/M.Matsuura et al/BBC

The explosion was observed with telescopes in October 2022.

she It originated in a galaxy 2.4 billion light-years awayLight is emitted at all frequencies. a The explosion was particularly intense in gamma rayswhich is a more penetrating form of X-rays.

Gamma ray burst It lasted seven minutes and was so powerful that it exceeded the range of astronomers,Overloading of tools detected it.

Gamma-ray bursts are related to supernova explosions, but they are too bright to be easily explained.

The explosion was so bright that it initially overwhelmed the instruments of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

The telescope began operating recently, and this was a stroke of luck for astronomers who wanted to study this phenomenon, because It is estimated that eruptions of this size occur only once every 10,000 years.

When the light faded, one of the instruments of the James Webb Space Telescope was able to see this There has already been a supernova explosion. But it wasn't as strong as they expected.

Why did the out-of-band gamma-ray burst occur?

All of Earth's gold was produced by cataclysmic explosions in outer space – Photograph: Anthony Bradshaw/BBC

Peter Blanchard, from Northwestern University in Illinois, USA, who led the research team, does not know the answer to this question. But you want to know that.

He plans to reserve more time at the James Webb Space Telescope to investigate other supernova remnants.

It is possible that gamma ray bursts and supernova explosions are not necessarily related to each other, but rather may be separate processes occurring.

– Peter Blanchard, in an interview with BBC News

Tanmoy Laskar, of the University of Utah and co-leader of the study, says the force of the explosion can be explained by The way the material jets were sprayedIt also usually happens during supernovas.

If these streams are narrow, they produce a more focused and brighter light beam.

“In fact, this was one of the narrowest bursts ever observed for gamma-ray bursts, giving us a clue as to why the aurora appears so bright.”

One theory is that one way heavy elements – such as gold, platinum, lead and uranium – can be produced is through… Extreme conditions created during supernovas.

They are spread throughout the galaxy and are used to form planets. thus, According to the theory, minerals on Earth originated.

There is evidence that heavy elements can be produced when dead stars, called neutron stars, collide – a process called kilonovas – but it is thought that in this way it would not be possible to create enough elements.

The team of scientists will investigate other supernova remnants to see if heavy elements can still be produced by exploding stars, but only under specific conditions.

But scientists No evidence of heavy elements was found around the exploded star.

So, is the theory wrong and are heavy elements produced in some other way, or are they only produced in supernovae under certain conditions?

“Theorists need to rethink their theories and figure out why an event like BOAT does not produce heavy elements when theories and simulations predict it will,” says Blanchard.

The research was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

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