Astronomers record gamma-ray bursts in finest-ever detail

Astronomers record finest details yet on gamma-ray bursts

More is now known about gamma-ray bursts (Nasa)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Astronomers have managed to capture gamma-ray bursts in the finest detail yet.

In order to find out more about them, the astronomers used several different telescopes as the bursts take place at distances so far away some date back to the creation of earth, according to Scien Mag.

Gamma-ray bursts are explosions in distant galaxies. They are some of the most explosive incidents in the entire universe, yet only last between a few milliseconds and a minute.

This therefore has made it difficult for scientists to gather details on the bursts, but now a team of astronomers at the University of Maryland, drawn from across the world, have managed to discover more about what starts gamma-ray bursts.

Eleonora Troja, lead author of the research paper on the matter, said: "In a matter of seconds, the process can emit as much energy as a star the size of our sun would in its entire lifetime. We are very interested to learn how this is possible."

It was first thought that gamma-ray bursts were dominated by either a magnetic field or matter, but it could not be dominated by both.

Now this research shows that, in a gamma-ray burst, a magnetic field is created and once the field breaks down, matter is able to dominate the burst.

Research also showed that when the burst is bright it is a result of electrons, which are particles with negative electric charges, moving in a curve or spiral. Astronomers previously thought the brightness may be due to radiation.

Alexander Kutyrev , co-author of the paper on gamma-ray bursts, said: "This burst was unique because we caught the polarisation state at an early stage.

"This is hard to do because it requires a very fast reaction time and there are relatively few telescopes with this capability.

"This paper shows how much can be done, but to get results like this consistently, we will need new rapid-response facilities for observing gamma-ray bursts."