The source of a huge flash that penetrated our solar system has been identified by scientists. The discovery of the flash could help understand the gamma ray bursts, the most powerful bursts in the universe.
The Earth is affected by mild and small gamma ray bursts regularly, most days. But more rarely there are huge flashes, such as the recently examined GRB 200415A, which brought with it a more powerful energy than our own Sun.
The flash appears to have come from an unusual, powerful neutron star known as a magnetar, scientists report foundings published in Nature Astronomy.
"Our sun is a very ordinary star. When it dies, it will grow and become a red giant star. After that I will collapse in a small solid star called a white dwarf, "said Soebur Razzaque of Johannesburg University, who led the study.
"But stars that are much bigger than the sun are playing a different game."
Such stars instead explode in supernova and then leave behind a small solid star known as a neutron star. They are tiny but they are so thick that a spoonful of them would weigh tons.
These stars are the creators of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
The new investigation began in April last year - on the morning of April 15 - when a huge flash swept through Mars. A network of satellites including of the International Space Station located the incident, triggering the investigation published today.
This meant that the researchers were able to collect huge amounts of data at 140 milliseconds, giving a much better picture than the previous one. visitor which arrived 16 years ago.
And when the researchers were able to identify the cause, they found that it was also unusual: it came from a magnetize. There are only 30 such known objects in our entire galaxy, consisting of tens of thousands of neutron stars and can be a thousand times more magnetic than ordinary neutron stars.
The galaxy from which the flash originated is outside our galaxy, but only on the galactic scale. It is only 11,4 million light years away.
Scientists hope to find even more and study them in even more detail. This could explain not only the processes that allow such powerful explosions, but also use them as ways of understanding its history. world us.
Source of information: www.independent.co.uk