A worldwide group of scientists directed by the University of Leicester has discovered for the first time that one of the most prevailing happenings in our universe, gamma-ray bursts (GRB), act contrarily than previously believed. The study uses proof from observation of a GRB to exclude most of the current theoretical estimates about the afterglow of the explosions. For Klaas Wiersema of the University of Leicester (United Kingdom), it was handy that he was up in the mid of the night tending to his 3-year-old son, which is when he got the alert that a GRB had happened.
Artist’s impression of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) and its jets.
Image Credit: University of Warwick / Mark A. Garlick
Klaas Wiersema said “When a suitable GRB is detected by a satellite, I get a text message on my phone, and then I have to very quickly tell the observatory in Chile exactly which observations I want them to take and how.” Wiersema also said the study was also significant because taking these high accurate measurements of a quickly disappearing afterglow is very tough from a technical point of view. The study characterizes a great technological achievement, one the team would love to repeat for more causes of Gamma Ray Burst. The effort was worth it and has directed to scientific conclusions that will change theoretical considerations of the afterglows of GRBs.
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