Astronomers can detect powerful bursts of energy from the deep and profound universes.
Sometimes the source of these eruptions is a mystery.
Scientists recently observed a giant explosion about 130 million light-years from Earth. Instead, he detected a massive collision here of a known merger of two neutron stars – collapsing stars that are perhaps the densest objects in the universe. But this dramatic event, which generated a powerful surge of energy, began to fade. After about three and a half years, something else, something newOr causing 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 was created when a fast-flying aircraft breaks the sound barrier.
In a new research published in Astrophysical Journal LettersAbrajita Hajela, the astronomer who led the study, explained that astronomers are proposing two possible scenarios that could explain the event, neither of which has been seen before. Hajela is a doctoral student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University.
Kilonova glow: when? In this groundbreaking interpretation, when two neutron stars (objects so close that a teaspoon of a neutron star weighs about a billion tons) collide, they cause a very bright explosion called a kilonova. A kilonova could be of great importance to the universe and our life: astronomers believe that these eruptions created important elements and metals, such as gold and platinum. “It is one of the proposed dominant sites for the heaviest elements in the universe,” he explained. trick.
But after the massive Kilonova explosion, astronomers suggested that the debris spilled into space, causing a shock wave or explosion. The explosion heated everything around, such as gases or star dust. This is the kilonova glow or afterglow that we can detect millions of light years away.
Black hole: Another possibility is that the dramatic merger of a neutron star led to the formation of a black hole – “an object with such strong gravity that nothing, not even light, can escape from it,” NASA explains: It’s falling now. Material from colliding into a black hole. When debris falls, a lot of energy is released as it orbits around the powerful dark object. This may be the source of this newly discovered energy from deep space.
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Artistic representation of the collision of two neutron stars.
Image Credit: National Science Foundation / LIGO / Sonoma State University / A. Simonnet
Artistic depiction of hot gas and debris stripped of neutrons prior to impact.
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 found in systems with one or more companions,” Hagel explains. Eventually the stars ran out of fuel and collapsed. Then the denser neutron stars lose their momentum and collide, resulting in mergers and explosions of energy.
The looming question now is how astronomers will determine whether they detect a kilonova glow or matter falling into a black hole. They will continue to see the type of light or radiation coming from this location in deep space. The source has been revealed. (If the flare was late, they would expect more radio emissions, but black holes emit X-rays.)
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.
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