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The death of stars shortly after the origin of the universe could disrupt today’s mobile phone reception



Powerful gamma ray burst GRB 190114C

As shown in the figure, the gamma-ray burst is the most powerful explosion in the universe. They emit most of their energy with gamma rays, which have more energy than the visible light we see with our eyes. Image source: NASA, ESA and M. Kornmesser

The rare star’s giant gamma-ray burst GRB 204015A was captured near our home Milky Way

On most days, the earth will be exposed to a slight short gamma ray burst (GRB) explosion. But sometimes, huge flares like GRB 200415A will reach our galaxy and pass along the energy that makes our sun dwarf. In fact, the most powerful explosion in the universe is a gamma-ray burst.

Now, scientists have shown that GRB 200415A comes from another possible source of short GRB.It erupts from a very rare and powerful place Neutron Star It is called a magnetar.

The previously detected GRB comes from a place relatively far away from our home galaxy Galaxy. However, as far as the universe is concerned, this is a place closer to home.

GRB explosions may disrupt the reception of mobile phones on Earth, but they may also become messengers in the early universe.

Different final games

“Our sun is a very ordinary star. When it dies, it will grow bigger and become a red giant. After that, it will collapse into a small compact star called white dwarf.

“However, stars that are much heavier than the sun play a different endgame,” said Professor Soebur Razzaque from France. University of Johannesburg.

The Razzaque leadership team predicted GRB behavior to publish in Natural astronomy On January 13, 2021

“When these huge stars die, they explode into supernovae. What remains after that is a small, compact star that is large enough to accommodate a valley of about 12 miles (about 20 kilometers). This star is called Neutron star. It is so dense that it weighs a ton of the earth with just one spoonful,” he said.

It is these huge stars and the rest of them that caused the biggest explosion in the universe.


On April 15, 2020, a huge wave of X-rays and gamma rays lasted less than a second, sweeping across the entire solar system, triggering NASA And European spacecraft. The GRB 200415A event was a huge flare from a magnetar, a city-scale neutron star with the strongest known magnetic field. Professor Soebur Razzaque from the University of Johannesburg shared what happened during a huge flare and how these powerful explosions can tell us more about the history of the universe. Animation source: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA/GESTAR). Video source: Therese van Wyk, University of Johannesburg.

moment

Scientists have known for some time that supernovae spew out long GRBs with an explosion time of more than 2 seconds. In 2017, they discovered that two rotating neutron stars can also emit short GRBs. The 2017 explosion came from 130 million light-years away from our safety.

But this cannot explain any other GRB that researchers can detect in our skies almost every day.

By 4:42 AM EST on April 15, 2020, this moment has changed.

That day, the huge flares GRB swept past Mars. It announced itself to satellites, spacecraft and the International Space Station orbiting the earth.

This is the first known large flare since the launch of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in 2008. It only lasted 140 milliseconds, about a blink of an eye.

But this time, the way the orbiting telescope and instrument captured more data about the large flare GRB than it did 16 years ago.

Outbreaks from other sources

The elusive cosmic visitor was named GRB 200415A. The Interplanetary Network (IPN) formed by scientists has found the source of the huge flares. They said that GRB 200415A exploded from a magnetar in the galaxy NGC 253 in the constellation of the sculptor.

All previously known GRBs can be traced back to a supernova or two neutron stars rotating with each other.

“In the Milky Way, there are thousands of neutron stars,” Razak said. “Of these, only 30 are known to be magnetars.

The magnetism of electromagnetic waves is a thousand times higher than that of ordinary neutron stars. Most people give out X-rays from time to time. But so far, we only know a few magnetars that produce huge flares. The brightest we can detect is 2004. Then GRB 200415A arrived in 2020. “

Galaxy NGC 253 is outside the Milky Way outside our home, but only 11.4 million light-years away. When talking about the nuclear power of the giant torch GRB, this is relatively close.

Huge flares are much stronger than the solar flares emitted by our sun, which is hard to imagine. Large solar flares from the sun sometimes interfere with cell phone reception and power grids.

The GRB torch in 2004 also destroyed the communication network.

The first wave

“No two gamma-ray bursts (GRB) are the same, even if they happen in a similar way. Moreover, the two magnetars are not the same. Razak said that we are still trying to understand how a star terminates its life and these high energy How gamma rays are produced.

“In the past 20 years or so, we have all the tools to detect these GRB events in various ways – Gravitational waves, Radio waves, visible light, X-rays and gamma rays. “

He said: “GRB 200415A is the first and second explosion of a large torch that has been detected for the first time in history.”

Understanding the second wave

In a 2005 study, Razzaque predicted that the first and second explosions would occur in a huge flare.

For current research Natural astronomyHis team included Jonathan Granot of the Open University of Israel, Ramandeep Gill of George Washington University and Matthew Baring of Rice University.

They developed an updated theoretical model, or prediction, to show what the second explosion in the huge torch GRB would look like. After April 15, 2020, they can compare their model with the data measured by GRB 200415A.

“The data from the Fermi GBM tells us the first explosion. The data from the Fermi LAT tells us about the second,” Razak said.

“The second explosion occurred about 20 seconds after the first explosion, and had a much higher gamma-ray energy than the first explosion. It also lasted longer. However, we still need to understand a few hundred seconds. What will happen later.”

Messenger understands the abyss

He said that if the next huge flare GRB occurs closer to our Milky Way galaxy, powerful radio telescopes on the ground, such as MeerKAT in South Africa, may be able to detect it.

“This will be an excellent opportunity to study the relationship between the very high-energy gamma-ray emission and radio wave emission in the second explosion. This will tell us more about what is effective and ineffective in our model.”

The more we understand these short-lived explosions, the more we understand the universe in which we live.

A star that will die shortly after the beginning of the universe may disrupt today’s mobile phone reception.

“Even if gamma-ray bursts are exploded from a star, we can find them early in the history of the universe. They can even be traced back to the universe hundreds of millions of years ago.”

“That was the very early stage of the development of the universe. Stars that died at that time…we now only detect their gamma-ray bursts because it takes time for light to travel.

“This means that gamma-ray bursts can tell us more about how the universe has expanded and evolved over time.”

Reference: January 13, 2021, Natural astronomy.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41550-020-01287-8




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