Two Gamma-ray Bursts Reach Record Levels

Gamma rays have the smallest wavelength in the electromagnet spectrum.

via. Nasa

Gamma rays have the smallest wavelength in the electromagnet spectrum.

Recently scientists have recorded two gamma-ray bursts reaching a total of 5900 type Ia supernova, creating a record-breaking amount of energy photons. Type la supernova is just a type of supernova that occurs in binary systems. These two bursts happened in far off galaxies, but scientists on Earth were able to record them. The lights show how the gamma-ray bursts produce these energy photons.

A gamma-ray is made of electromagnetic radiation from the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. It is made up of microscopically small electromagnetic waves that impart in the highest photon energy. Gamma-ray bursts are so fast that human eyes can’t witness them. The light people can see travels in medium length wavelengths. Gamma-rays have about 1 billion times the amount of energy of light visible to humans. The bursts are so dangerous that death can result from people who are near them. Gamma-ray bursts it means a star’s death has just occurred and is leaving a black hole or a neutron star. A neutron star is a celestial object with a small radius with a high density packed with neutrons. Before this explosion, the most only a few million electron volts of energy came from the biggest burst. This explosion ranked in the billions. The bursts broke the record in July of 2018 with 100 billion to 440 billion electron volts. This happened about 10 hours after the burst began. 

In order to record the gamma-ray bursts, scientists need high tech equipment. The scientists use ground-based telescopes, called the Fermi, that costs around $690 million. This spacecraft includes two main sections. One section is a telescope that finds gamma-rays 10 million to 300 billion times the energy of visible light. The second part is comprised of detectors that observe these gamma-ray bursts. Then all the information is sent back to the scientists on Earth. The scientists use the information to discover where the gamma-ray came from and determine why it exploded. The telescope will also take pictures of the burst, which will be sent to the scientists. The pictures will help the scientist find the origin of the gamma-ray burst. Once the scientists receive this information, they can use it to find out more about other celestial bodies.

Now that scientists have seen such a large gamma-ray burst, they think gamma-ray bursts will occur quicker and quicker.