Scientists Detect a ‘Completely Unprecedented’ Burst of Energy in Space

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Here on Earth, well, we can all probably use the occasional burst of energy. Sometimes, we even work up the gumption to make it happen.

But out in space, a burst of energy is considered a fairly big deal.

And now scientists are saying they have detected an “unprecedented” explosion of energy in space. Also referred to as a Gamma-ray burst (or GRB for short).

This particular GRB was described by University of Alabama astronomer Marcos Santander as the “brightest GRB ever.” Other experts simply called it “an extraordinary event.”

Gamma ray bursts are massive eruptions, sometimes resulting from the death of stars. According to the majority of experts on such topics, this one was particularly dynamic.

“It’s bright. Really bright,” tweeted Phil Evans, an astronomer at the University of Leicester. “Like, stupidly really bright.”

‘Completely Unprecedented’ Burst of Energy in Space

So bright, in fact, that Evans and other scientists said they had never seen anything like it.

Santander was the first to detect the eruption, quickly sharing its uniqueness.

“GBM is the most prolific GRB detector and on average it detects a GRB roughly every day, and it has collected thousands of GRBs in more than 14 years of operation since the launch of Fermi in 2008,” he told Motherboard. “Of those thousands, the one on Oct. 9 was by far the brightest. (It) blinded the instruments for a bit given how many gamma rays were arriving over a very short time.”

Again, these cosmic fireworks were likely the result of the death of an enormous star and its transformation into a black hole.

“Bear in mind of course that this event is very new, and it will take time before we have the full picture, so this is somewhat preliminary,” Evans said, via Motherboard. “However…it appears to be a ‘long GRB,’ and these are fairly well understood. What happens is that a very massive, rapidly rotating star, reaches the point where its nuclear reactions can no longer produce enough energy to support the weight of the star. The center of it collapses and forms a new black hole, and this releases lots of energy.” 

 Read More: NASA Releases Stunning New Images of Jupiter


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