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31 Mar, 2023
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Gamma Ray Burst, An Event That Trembled The Entire Universe

Outer space is always a curious subject for all of us. Its complications related to the origin of the earth and cosmic elements have always attracted individuals from different walks of life. Adding amusement to its legends, a major gamma-ray burst (GBT) was observed recently. The extent of that blast was so intense that it captivated an unusually bright and long-lasting pulse of high-energy radiation that swept over the earth on Sunday, October 9. 

The emission that emerged from the burst was one of the most tragic bursts in history as its luminous effect triggered detectors on NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, and Wind Spacecraft, among others. The effect was detected by Orbiting High-energy Monitor Alert Network (OHMAN).

Also read: A Glimpse at the Heart of Earth’s Nearest Phantom Galaxy! 

What Is OHMAN?

OHMAN is a joint collaboration between NASA’s NICER telescope and Japan-based MAXI, a monitor that is capable of capturing X-ray images. The American space agency NASA invested in this collaboration to promote its understanding of outer space by studying different rays coming from outer space. Through such forms of joint collaborations and study frameworks, NASA not only promotes the exploration of life’s possibilities outside the planet but also contributes to the welfare of humankind.

What Can Be The Reason Behind Gamma Ray Burst? 

The worst-ever gamma ray burst (GRB) that occurred almost 1.9 billion light years away is named GRB221009A. The prefix GRB denotes Gamma Ray Blast, and NASA explains it as: “Gamma-ray burst (GRB) is the most powerful class of explosions in the universe and ranks among the most luminous events known,” 

Coming from the direction of Sagitta, GRB swept over the earth’s atmosphere and triggered what we popularly call the giant cosmic sensing devices of the earth. As per some space scientists, the explosion happened due to the birth of a black hole, an outcome of a supernova event. 

As per scientific principles, a black hole generates strong jets of particles that can move at a pace similar to the speed of light. The fundamental further adds, “Those jets fly into outer space get punctured by stars to produce X-rays and gamma rays in the universe.” 

A Short Note On Gamma Rays

Gamma rays are highly energetic electromagnetic radiations that emit out from radioactive elements, including uranium or radium. Besides radioactive elements, celestial bodies and hot bodies, too, naturally emit such rays. For instance, Sun releases such rays during solar flares.

Being a part of electromagnetic spectrum, Gamma rays possess similarities with X-rays. However, these rays differ from each other due to their respective frequencies and wavelengths. Due to their characteristics, Gamma rays seek their applicability in medical imaging, nuclear physics, and related fields. 

What is the Effect of Gamma Ray Burst on Earth? 

The preliminary reports published by the space unit state Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT) traced the brightness of the burst for more than 10 hours. The effect was observed for so long because of its closeness to the blue planet. 

Explaining the observations to the media, Roberta Pillera, a Fermi LAT Collaboration member, stated: “This burst is much closer than typical GRBs, which is exciting because it allows us to detect many details that otherwise would be too faint to see”. He added: “But it’s also among the most energetic and luminous bursts ever seen regardless of distance, making it doubly exciting”.  

According to some experts, the observations of GBT will help to identify its uniquely bright and energetic characteristics. Other than this, the findings will also be good for letting astronomers learn more about the elements formed and ejected during star collisions. 

Some space scientists also suggested, “If the burst occurred in our galaxy, its severe effects could cause destruction on this planet’s ecosystem”. This adds more importance to the study of current events so that future accidents can be averted timely.

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