Brightest cosmic explosion ever detected had other unique features #Space @NASA @NASAJPL
Observations by NASA’s NuSTAR X-ray telescope give astronomers new clues about the brightest and most energetic gamma-ray burst ever detected.
When scientists detected the gamma-ray burst known as GRB 221009A on Oct. 9, 2022, they dubbed it the brightest of all time, or BOAT. Most gamma-ray bursts occur when the core of a star more massive than our Sun collapses, becoming a black hole. These events regularly release as much energy in a few minutes as our Sun will release in its entire lifetime. Follow-up studies showed that GRB 221009A was 70 times brighter and far more energetic than the previous record holder. While scientists don’t yet understand why, they’ve received a tantalizing clue from NASA’s NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) observatory.
…scientists used NuSTAR observations of the event to show how the collapsing star ejected a jet of material that had a shape not previously observed among gamma-ray burst jets, as well as other unique characteristics. It’s possible that the source of these distinctions is the progenitor star, the physical properties of which could influence the characteristics of the burst. It’s also possible that an entirely different mechanism launches the very brightest jets into space.
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