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Video: They recreate in 3D the origin of the ‘cosmic backyard’ gamma ray eruption that raises questions about what we know about the phenomenon


Jun 4, 2021 07:36 GMT

The researchers observed a flash unexpectedly similar to X-rays, the timing and spectrum of which coincide with those of gamma rays.

gamma ray burst GRB 190829A, registered in August 2019, challenges prevailing theories about this type of phenomenon, the study authors say published This Thursday in Science magazine.

Usually, gamma-ray bursts reach our planet from about 20 billion light-years away. GRB 190829A was created in the constellation Erídano, at a distance of 900 million light years. Due to their relative proximity, scientists were able to “observe the afterglow within several days and gamma ray energies without precedentsAstronomer Andrew Taylor says in Aايل Release From the German synchrotron (DESY).

“We can define the spectrum of GRB 190829A down to an energy of 3.3 TeV, which is A billion times more energy than photons in visible light. Here’s what’s unique about this gamma-ray burst: It occurred in the cosmic backyard, where high-energy photons were not absorbed when colliding with backlight on their way to Earth, as they do at greater distances in the world. universe,” says Edna Ruiz-Velasco, of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics.

However, the researchers noticed a flash unexpectedly similar to X-rays, the timing and spectrum of which matched those of gamma rays.

Our notes revealed Weird Similarities Between X-rays and Gamma Rays Emission Study co-author Sylvia Chu explains.

Capture the brightest light in the universe mankind has ever seen from a gamma ray burst

It is generally believed that these types of rays have a different origin. Specifically, it is assumed that the X-rays are caused by the deflection of ultrafast electrons and gamma rays, which require higher energies, as a result of their collision with photons. However, the coincidence of the streams indicates the presence of Through a common mechanism.

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It would be completely unexpected to notice The spectral and temporal characteristics are remarkably similar in the X-ray and very high-energy gamma-ray energy bands, if the emissions in these two energy bands have different origins,” says another team member, Dmitriy Yangulian.

The strange coincidence requires further study to better understand the nature of gamma-ray bursts. Meanwhile, DESY has published a 3D animation of the impulse generated by GRB 190829A.

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