NASA's Hubble Telescope has detected a flash of light 10 times brighter than expected; but what is it? Maybe the birth of a so-called magnetar (a neutron star with dense magnetic fields).
When two neutron stars collide, the universe screams. The extreme crash is explosive and creates a "kilonova", which emits a bright, rapid c-ray burst. It also sends ripples to the fabric of spacetime. Scientists then believe that the cosmic "break" is likely to create a new fused object that quickly collapses into a black hole. But γίνεται what if he survives?
A new study, to be published in The Astrophysical Journal, describes even the brightest kilonova and suggests that a conflict with neutron stars can sometimes cause the formation of a magnetar, a neutron star with dense magnetic fields.
On May 22, NASA's Neil Gehrels, a space telescope, spotted a gamma-ray burst in an extremely distant corner of space called GRB 200522A. The scientists believe that these types of little ones explosions occur when two neutron stars collide, so when a telescope sees one, there is a crazy attempt to get them observations at other wavelengths in electromagnetic spectrum. This collision happened about 5,5 billion years ago, but our telescopes have now received the signals.
In the new study, the research team identified a number of different space and ground-based telescopes at GRB 200522A, including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and observed drop after the intense explosion of the rays c.
Using X-ray, radio and infrared data, the team was able to measure the brightness of the gamma-ray burst. However, there was one particular observation that is not very normal. The near-infrared images from Hubble showed an extremely bright explosion - about 10 times brighter than any kilonova has ever seen (although so far few have been observed).
"The infrared light we saw from the GRB 200522A was too bright to be explained by a typical kilonova radioactive." says Wen-fai Fong, an astrophysicist at Northwestern University and lead author of the new research.
Fong and her team eventually installed a model called a "magnetar-boosted kilonova" to explain the extreme brightness.
Kilonova is created when two dense cosmic objects - such as neutron stars and black holes - collide with each other. The merger process launches a ton of subatomic material into space, including the creation ray burst c.
Continuous monitoring of the GRB 200522A with radio telescopes will help experts determine more clearly what exactly happened around the c-ray burst. The radio waves from the event should be able to confirm what was observed at the wavelengths infrared, but the time it takes for these waves to reach Earth depends on the environment around GRB 200522A. The model suggests that it could take about six years to get one signal and Fong says the team will be watching the radio for years to come.