Sunday, April 2, 2023

Unprecedented Cosmic Event: NASA Discovers the Brightest Gamma-Ray Burst in History

12:49 PM | ,

Last October, NASA scientists documented the most luminous gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever observed, known as the "Brightest of All Time" (BOAT) explosion [2]. This extraordinary cosmic event, which occurred two billion light-years away from Earth, outshined all other recorded GRBs by being 70 times brighter [2]. The BOAT GRB lit up a significant portion of the galaxy and is believed to be the most radiant gamma-ray to strike Earth since human civilization began.

Triggering detectors on numerous spacecraft, this extragalactic outburst caught the attention of observatories worldwide [3]. By analyzing the collected data, astronomers were able to determine the true intensity of the explosion and its scientific implications [3]. Eric Burns, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University, stated that GRB 221009A was likely the most brilliant burst in X-ray and gamma-ray energies since the dawn of human civilization [3]. According to Mr. Burns, such events occur only once every 10,000 years [3].

Due to its immense brightness, the burst effectively blinded most gamma-ray instruments in space, preventing them from recording its actual intensity [3]. However, US scientists managed to reconstruct this information using Fermi data and collaborated with Russian and Chinese teams working on Konus and GECAM-C data, as well as Insight-HXMT observatory observations [3]. Together, their findings confirmed that the BOAT GRB was indeed 70 times brighter than any previously observed gamma-ray burst [3].

References: [1] NASA Missions Study What May Be a 1-In-10000-Year … [2] Brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen 'absolutely monstrous … [3] Recent Gamma-Ray Burst May Be the Brightest Ever Seen

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