A powerful explosion NASA called as the ‘brightest of all time’.

Astronomers recently detected an explosion so large they dubbed it the BOAT—the brightest of all time. This explosion—known now as GRB 221009A—was a gamma-ray burst (GRB), a flash of extremely high-energy light that resulted from the death of a colossal star.

This detonation is the brightest burst at X-ray and gamma-ray energies since human civilization began. It is 70 times brighter than any observed before. Papers describing this result and others related to the burst were published in a focus issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters in March.

So-called long GRBs—gamma-ray bursts that last longer than two seconds—materialize when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses into a black hole. This catastrophic collapse causes powerful jets of material to stream out, collide with gas around the former star, and produce high-energy gamma rays. We can see this explosion from Earth if the jet is pointed directly at our planet. 

Astronomers are constantly monitoring the sky for GRBs and other bright, short-lived bursts of light—and that’s how they found the BOAT. The research team that works with NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, is notified each time a certain camera, known as the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), spots a new GRB.

Source: www.popsci.com


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