Gamma ray bursts are highly energetic explosions which have so far been observed at distant celestial locations.
They are by far the most powerful and bright electromagnetic events known to happen in the universe. Bursts can last up to a decade and cause the light from stars to fade significantly. They typically come from very far away, and astronomers use sophisticated equipment to detect them. Many scientists believe that gamma-ray bursts originate from supernovae, the explosions that create black holes and other space debris.
In order to understand gamma-ray bursts, it’s necessary to first understand gamma rays.
These powerful particles come from exploding stars, supernovae, or from white dwarf stars. They can enter our atmosphere through a telescope, or through space dust. Although they arrive at a later time than other forms of radiation, their high energy means that they are much more visible to our eyes. Very swift, these flashes can send out X-rays and gamma rays into space, allowing astronomers to study the movement and composition of celestial objects.
Since gamma-ray bursts are so fast, they have a low frequency compared to other bursts which are longer in duration. This makes them easier to detect by telescopes and gives scientists a better understanding of black holes. The brightness of the flashes can be correlated to the properties of a black hole, giving scientists an idea of what the black hole is made of.
It’s possible to track gamma ray bursts with the help of satellites.
There are currently two satellites in operation, called the Gamma Rosetta and the Aqua Satellite. These two satellites will take excellent measurements of gamma-ray bursts as they occur, allowing researchers to determine the composition and size of the black hole. They will also study the timing of the flashes and determine if the flashes come most frequently around the same time each month or every second.
Another way to track gamma ray bursts is through the use of radio telescopes.
Radio telescopes can listen in to bursts as they occur, allowing scientists to track the radio waves emitted as the explosions go off. When these bursts come together, they create a gamma burst, which creates a radio burst of the same strength. By monitoring radio emissions, the scientists will know when and where these explosions will take place. A radio telescope called Grb per Day is one instrument that can give researchers this information.
Astronomers have discovered these powerful explosions happening regularly.
Many studies have taken place to learn the compositions of these explosions, how they occur and how to stop them from happening. Astronomy and technology have advanced rapidly in the past few decades, allowing astronomers to detect these rare events easily with the help of tools like the Gemini Observatory.
While these discoveries have only been possible because of space-based telescopes, the technology used today can detect gamma-bursts originating in other terrestrial locations, allowing scientists to study the phenomena up close. Because of the distance involved, these rare events can only be observed by members of the scientific community.
The gamma rays emitted by these explosions come from the explosions of massive stars, called supernovae. These black holes are extremely hot and very dense, and they can produce gamma rays at an amazing rate. It takes millions of years for a black hole to form and mature into a black hole planet, which contains a supermassive star. Once it is fully developed, the effects of the gamma rays can be dangerous to Earth, as solar flares, geomagnetic storms and space weather could result.
When the gamma rays are detected, they are sent into space and analyzed by astronomers on the ground.
They can be studied in a laboratory, but by using a satellite, which is in orbit above the earth, scientists have a better chance of detecting these bursts before they are too late. If you would like to know more about gamma rays, there are several good websites that explain the basics.
If you would like to have your own data analysis tool, there are a few software programs online that you can download for free that will give you comprehensive analysis capabilities. Now that you know why these rare events are so important to study, you should start looking for yourself a reliable satellite monitoring site.