Scientists captured an unprecedented view of the fiery trails of a collision between two stars, as they recorded for the first time millimeter-wavelength light from merging one star with another, leaving behind one of the brightest auroras ever, cutting the light about 6 to 9 billion light-years across The universe observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/ Sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the research team led by Northwestern University and Radboud University in the Netherlands, explained that this flash is one of the most energetic short-range gamma-ray bursts ever observed.
The data could help scientists learn more about these extreme events, and their impact on the space around them.
“This short burst of gamma rays was the first time we had attempted to observe such an event with ALMA,” said Win Fai Fung of Northwestern, principal investigator in the ALMA programme.
The lead researcher added, “It’s very difficult to get the afterglows for short bursts, so it was amazing to capture this event so bright.”
Gamma ray bursts are the most powerful known in the universe, as in just 10 seconds, more energy can be emitted from a star the size of our sun in 10 billion years, and the importance of such explosions comes from the formation of elements heavier than iron and their ejection throughout space.
“These explosions occur in distant galaxies, which means that the light emitted by them can be quite faint for our telescopes on Earth,” said astrophysicist Tanmu Laskar, from Radboud University in the Netherlands.
Located in the high-altitude Atacama Desert in Chile, the ALMA group consists of 66 radio telescopes, making it the largest radio telescope in the world.
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