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Scientists have been blown away by a recent detection of a gamma-ray burst (GRB), a type of strong cosmic explosion. Despite being over 2 billion light years away from Earth, this GRB was so bright that it blinded space instruments.

The new GRB was first discovered by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in October 2022. Ever since, scientists have been fascinated by the very bright GRB. Usually, GRBs can only be detected for a few milliseconds to a few hours, and even those that last a few seconds can produce as much as energy as the Sun across its entire life. This GRB was detected by spacecraft for 10 hours!

“There is nothing in human experience that comes anywhere remotely close to such an outpouring of energy.” says astrophysicist Dr Dan Perley.

Astronomers now think this GRB is likely the brightest we’ve seen in human history! They believe that it may have been produced by a massive star collapsing on itself to form a black hole.

Cosmic illustration showing pinkish explosion and star burst with concentric circles of rippling clouds.
This recent Gamma Ray Burst may be the brightest ever experienced by humankind

Credit: Wikimedia / International Gemini Observatory / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / J. da Silva Image processing: M. Zamani (NSF’s NOIRLab)

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2 responses

  1. Greg Lahey Avatar
    Greg Lahey

    Except that it wasn’t in human history, it of course happened 2 Billion years ago and we are just observing it now.

    1. David Shaw Avatar
      David Shaw

      Hi Greg,
      We probably should have said it’s the brightest GRB that we’ve observed in human history! I might go fiddle with the wording slightly. Thanks for your feedback!

      Cheers,
      David

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