August 14, 2022

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A huge and mysterious explosion discovered in deep space amazes scientists

A huge and mysterious explosion discovered in deep space amazes scientists

Astronomers can detect powerful bursts of energy from the depths of the universe.

Sometimes the source of these rashes is a mystery.

Scientists recently observed a giant explosion about 130 million light-years from Earth. Previously, mm Discover a massive collision Here from a known merger of two neutron stars – collapsed stars that are perhaps the densest objects in the universe. But this dramatic event, which produced a powerful current of energy, began to fade away. After about three and a half years, a little more, something newOr make another strange explosion or release of energy.

“Something else is happening now,” Ido Berger, a professor of astronomy at Harvard University and one of the scientists who discovered this new cosmic event, told Mashable.

The burst of energy, captured by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (which detects emissions from extremely hot places in the universe), was intense. Astronomers compare it to loud voice It occurs when an aircraft at full speed breaks the sound barrier.

On A new research has been published in Astrophysical Journal LettersAbrajita Hajela, the astronomer who led the investigation, explained that astronomers are proposing two possible scenarios that could explain the event, neither of which has been previously observed. Hajela is a doctoral student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University.

  1. Kilonova’s brilliance: when? In this groundbreaking interpretation, when two neutron stars (objects so dense that a teaspoon of a neutron star weighs about a billion tons) collide, they cause an extremely bright explosion, called a kilonova. A kilonova could be of great importance to the universe and our life: astronomers believe that important elements and minerals, such as gold and platinum, were formed in these eruptions. “It is one of the proposed dominant sites for the heaviest elements in the universe,” he explained. Do it.

    But after this huge kilonova explosion, astronomers suggested that the debris spilled into space, causing a shock wave or explosion. The explosion heated up anything around it, such as gases or star dust. This is the kilonova glow or afterglow that we can detect millions of light years away.

  2. prison cell: Another possibility is that the dramatic merger of a neutron star created a black hole: “an object with such strong gravitational force that nothing, not even light, can escape from it.” NASA explains Now the material from the collision falls into the black hole. When debris falls, it releases a lot of energy as it orbits around the powerful dark object. This may be the source of this newly discovered energy from deep space.

Artist’s impression of two neutron stars colliding.
Image Credit: National Science Foundation / LIGO / Sonoma State University / A. Simonnet

Artist strips hot gas and debris of neutrons before they collide.
Image Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / CI Lab

Not surprisingly, two neutron stars collide in space. In fact, it is common for stars to orbit near other stars in the same solar system. Many stars are not as lonely as the sun. “Most stars are actually in systems with one or more companions,” Hagel explained. Eventually, the stars run out of fuel and collapse. So more massive neutron stars can lose their momentum and collide, leading to mergers and explosions of energy.

The looming question now is how astronomers will determine whether they have detected a kilonova glow or whether matter is falling into a black hole. They will continue to see the type of light or radiation coming from this location in deep space. This will reveal the source. (If the brightness is delayed, they would expect more radio emissions; but black holes emit X-ray emissions.)

Who knows what these following observations will reveal about events occurring in the deep universe?

“That’s not the end of the story,” Berger said.