Astronomers fascinated by the brightest space light ever observed

Astronomers have observed the brightest flash of light ever seen, emitted at a distance of 2.4 billion light-years from Earth. and supposedly caused by the birth of a black hole.

This burst of gamma rays, the most intense form of electromagnetic radiation, was first observed by Earth-orbiting telescopes on October 9, and its residual light continues to be studied by scientists around the world.

Scientists believe that these bursts, which last for several minutes, are caused by the death of giant stars, more than 30 times larger than the Sunastrophysicist Brendan O’Connor explained to AFP.

The star explodes and becomes a supernova, before collapsing to form a black hole. The matter then forms a disk around the black hole, is absorbed and released as energy traveling at 99.99% of the speed of light.

The flash released photons with a record 18 teraelectronvolts of energy and impacted longwave communications in Earth’s atmosphere.

“It is breaking records, both in the number of photons and in the energy of the photons that reach us,” said O’Connor, who made new observations of the phenomenon on Friday with infrared instruments at the Gemini South Observatory telescope in Chile. “Something so bright, so close, is truly a once-in-a-century event», added the astrophysicist.

“Gamma-ray bursts generally release within seconds the same amount of energy that our Sun has produced or will produce in its entire lifetimeand this event is the brightest gamma-ray burst,” he said.

The flare, named GRB221009A, was observed last Sunday by numerous telescopes, including several from NASA.

O’Connor, affiliated with the University of Maryland and George Washington University, will continue to scour space in the coming weeks for the hallmarks of supernovae to confirm his hypotheses about the flash’s origin.