Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astronomers reveal mystery of brightest ever Gamma-ray Burst

Date:
November 21, 2013
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
For the first time, a team of astronomers from around the world have used data from satellites and observatories to explain the brightest Gamma-ray Burst ever recorded.

The jet from a Gamma-ray burst emerging at nearly lightspeed.
Credit: Credit: NASA/Swift/Cruz deWilde

For the first time, a team of astronomers from around the world, including experts from the University of Leicester, have used data from satellites and observatories to explain the brightest Gamma-ray Burst (GRB) ever recorded.

Related Articles


An unusually bright GRB was observed on April 27 2013 by the Swift satellite and new research published in Science, has found this to be a result of an extremely powerful stellar explosion. This explosion produced a jet of matter moving close to the speed of light, which was formed when a massive star collapsed to make a black hole at its centre. As a result, a blast wave caused the rest of the star to expand outwards, producing a glowing shell of debris observed as an extremely bright supernova.

The event happened in a galaxy a quarter of the way across the Universe. Although far away, this is much closer than a typical GRB allowing astronomers to confirm for the first time that the same object can simultaneously create both a powerful GRB and a supernovae. GRBs and supernova are the brightest objects in nature.

Professor Paul O'Brien of the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy explained: "We normally detect GRBs at great distance, meaning they usually appear quite faint. In this case the burst happened only a quarter of the way across the Universe meaning it was very bright. On this occasion, a powerful supernova was also produced, something we have not recorded before alongside a powerful GRB and we will now be seeking to understand this occurrence."

GRBs are relatively rare phenomena, but the study of their behaviour under extreme conditions enables researchers to continue testing the laws of physics.

Professor Julian Osborne, Swift team leader at the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy said: "The rapid reaction of Swift has enabled us to discover many new and unexpected aspects of GRBs, the strong confirmation of the basic theory by this new very bright burst reassures us that we are on the right track in understanding these extraordinary explosions."

Professor Nial Tanvir, also of the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy added: "Seeing such a bright flash a quarter of the way across the observable universe really brings home the astonishing power of these explosions."

This research, which is published this week in Science in a paper led by Dr Alessandro Maselli from INAF-ISAF Palermo, Italy, concludes that the GRB has properties consistent with that of much more distant examples. The extraordinary brightness of the April 27 event will allow for the most stringent test yet of how GRBs and supernovae can be formed together.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Maselli, A. Melandri, L. Nava, C. G. Mundell, N. Kawai, S. Campana, S. Covino, J. R. Cummings, G. Cusumano, P.A. Evans, G. Ghirlanda, G. Ghisellini, C. Guidorzi, S. Kobayashi, P. Kuin, V. La Parola, V. Mangano, S. Oates, T. Sakamoto, M. Serino, F. Virgili, B.-B. Zhang, S. Barthelmy, A. Beardmore, M.G. Bernardini, D. Bersier, D. Burrows, G. Calderone, M. Capalbi, J. Chiang, P. D’Avanzo, V. D’Elia, M. De Pasquale, D. Fugazza, N. Gehrels, A. Gomboc, R. Harrison, H. Hanayama, J. Japelj, J. Kennea, D. Kopac, C. Kouveliotou, D. Kuroda, A. Levan, D. Malesani, F. Marshall, J. Nousek, P. O’Brien, J.P. Osborne, C. Pagani, K.L. Page, M. Page, M. Perri, T. Pritchard, P. Romano, Y. Saito, B. Sbarufatti, R. Salvaterra, I. Steele, N. Tanvir, G. Vianello, B. Weigand, K. Wiersema, Y. Yatsu, T. Yoshii, and G. Tagliaferri. GRB 130427A: A Nearby Ordinary Monster. Science, 21 November 2013 DOI: 10.1126/science.1242279

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Astronomers reveal mystery of brightest ever Gamma-ray Burst." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121142140.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2013, November 21). Astronomers reveal mystery of brightest ever Gamma-ray Burst. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121142140.htm
University of Leicester. "Astronomers reveal mystery of brightest ever Gamma-ray Burst." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121142140.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Monster Gamma-Ray Burst in Our Cosmic Neighborhood

Nov. 21, 2013 Gamma-ray bursts are violent bursts of gamma radiation associated with exploding massive stars. For the first time ever, researchers have observed an unusually powerful gamma-ray burst in the ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins