Researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands and Northwestern University have recorded the first light from a fiery explosion that resulted from the merger of a neutron Star with another star.
Also, the team confirmed that the flare was one of most powerful and short-lived Gamma-ray bursts ever seen. It also left behind one of records’ brightest afterglows.
Astrophysicists discovered the Atacama Large Millimeter Wave Array, (ALMA), with an international observatory run by the National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The ALMA array is located in Chile’s Atacama desert. It consists of 66 radio telescopes and is the largest radio telescope anywhere in the world.
The artist demonstrated the merging of a neutron star with another star
ALMA was first to observe this gamma-ray blast. It’s difficult to see afterglow from short flashes so it was amazing to capture this event so brightly. This amazing discovery, after years of studying these flares, opens up new areas of research. It encourages us to use ALMA and other telescopes to continue our observations of flares.
Wen-fai Fong is the principal investigator of the ALMA Program
Gamma-ray explosions are the most powerful and energetic explosions in all of universe. They can emit more energy in seconds than our Sun does in its entire life. Astrophysicists have now studied the gammaray burst 21106A. This is a subclass for short-lived, gamma radiation bursts. These explosions are responsible for the creation of the most heavy elements in the universe such as platinum, gold, and other metals. They occur due to the cataclysmic merging of binary star systems that contain at least one neutron star.
It is amazing to see how these technologies can unlock the unexpected gifts of the universe after observing gammaray bursts for a decade. These mergers are great sources of gravitational wave, and can be observed with light and gravitational waves. Even though this gammaray burst was out of reach for modern gravitational wave observatories we were able to mobilize many observatories to capture it light in the radio, millimeter and x-ray band.
The Astrophysical Journal Letters will publish the study in its next issue.