Astronomers have recorded the afterglow of a faint andfast burst detected 10 billion light-years from Earth. This afterglow is so far away that researchers estimate its age at 3.8 billion years after the Big Bang. This means that in the future we will get an idea of what happened in the early Universe, we will be able to look into the distant past and come closer to understanding the physics of that time. Scientists believe the afterglow originated from a short gamma ray burst (SRGB), which is the second most distant burst ever detected and the first after which astronomers recorded the afterglow that followed.
Gamma Bursts or SRGBs - these are the brightest electromagnetic events, a large-scale space release of explosive energy. Today, astronomers observe several GRBs at once in different parts of the universe.
What are GRBs?
According to the British The Independent,the researchers did not expect to find distant SRGBs, as such events are extremely rare and very weak. The authors of the work, published on the Arxiv preprint server, write that they used telescopes to conduct an "examination" to understand the environment surrounding the afterglow.
The fact is that the way his ownthe galaxy has a lot to tell us about the physics behind these systems. Researchers now hope to see many more GRBs - some of the most powerful and brightest explosions in the entire universe that occur when two neutron stars merge - that may help us better understand the circumstances in which they occur.
Interesting: Galactic Wall Discovered Outside the Milky Way
Astronomers think they've hit the topiceberg SRGBs. The recently discovered explosion is known as SGRB 181123B and is described in a new study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. SRGBs occur when two neutron stars merge and cause a very short, very powerful burst of gamma rays, which is the most energetic form of light. Typically, astronomers record only a few SRGBs each year that are noticeable enough to continue observing. The afterglow from gamma-ray bursts usually lasts for several hours and then disappears. It means that you can only catch the afterglow after it disappears.
It should be noted that the ability to see againthe open, distant afterglow is due to the successful and quick work of a team of astronomers; the signal was recorded by the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory (SWIFT, NASA). All in all, the researchers were able to obtain detailed images of the explosion just hours after discovery. The images were very clear, which made it possible to pinpoint the location of a particular galaxy in the universe.
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Distance to the flash source also meansthat when the universe was only 30% of the current age, astronomers saw the merging of neutron stars early in the development of the universe. As the results of the new discovery suggest, neutron stars can merge quickly if each of them has had enough time to be born, live, evolve and ultimately die, before merging with another neutron star, thereby creating an explosion. In fact, all this time the universe has been a kind of “teenager.” But how exactly did astronomers know about this?
A glimpse into the "cosmic afternoon"
To determine the exact distance of a gamma flashfrom Earth, the researchers used data from Gemini's infrared spectrograph, which can pick up redder wavelengths. Having obtained the spectrum of the desired galaxy, astronomers realized that they, by a happy coincidence, managed to find a signal from the distant SRGB.
After galaxy identification and calculationdistance, the team was able to determine the key properties of the parent stellar populations within the galaxy that caused this event. Since SGRB181123B appeared when the universe was about 30% of its current age - in an era known as "Cosmic afternoon", - scientists got a rare opportunity to study the merger of neutron stars, in those distant times when the Universe was very young.
What secrets do you think is hidden in the distant past of our Universe? We will wait for the answer here and in the comments to this article!
When the gamma ray burst occurred, the universe was likeseething, forming stars and galaxies were forming in it with incredible speed. Massive, binary stars take time to be born, evolve and die - finally becoming a pair of neutron stars that will eventually merge. For a long time remained unknown what time is it is required for neutron stars to merge,especially those that produce gamma-ray bursts. The discovery of SRGBs at this point in the history of the Universe suggests that when many stars were forming in the Universe, a pair of neutron stars could quite easily and quickly meet and “merge”.