Fermi and Swift see 'shockingly bright' burst

May 03, 2013
The maps in this animation show how the sky looks at gamma-ray energies above 100 million electron volts with a view centered on the north galactic pole. The first frame shows the sky during a three-hour interval prior to GRB 130427A. The second frame shows a three-hour interval starting 2.5 hours before the burst, and ending 30 minutes into the event. The Fermi team chose this interval to demonstrate how bright the burst was relative to the rest of the gamma-ray sky. This burst was bright enough that Fermi autonomously left its normal surveying mode to give the LAT instrument a better view, so the three-hour exposure following the burst does not cover the whole sky in the usual way. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world. The eruption, which is classified as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and designated GRB 130427A, produced the highest-energy light ever detected from such an event.

"We have waited a long time for a gamma-ray burst this shockingly, eye-wateringly bright," said Julie McEnery, project scientist for the Fermi Gamma-ray at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The GRB lasted so long that a record number of telescopes on the ground were able to catch it while space-based observations were still ongoing."

Just after 3:47 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 27, Fermi's Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) triggered on eruption of high-energy light in the . The burst occurred as NASA's was slewing between targets, which delayed its Burst Alert Telescope's detection by a few seconds.

Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT) recorded one gamma ray with an energy of at least 94 billion (GeV), or some 35 billion times the energy of visible light, and about three times greater than the LAT's previous record. The GeV emission from the burst lasted for hours, and it remained detectable by the LAT for the better part of a day, setting a new record for the longest gamma-ray emission from a GRB.

Swift's X-Ray Telescope took this 26.5-second exposure of GRB 130427A at 3:50 a.m. EDT on April 27, just moments after Swift and Fermi triggered on the outburst. The image is 6.5 arcminutes across. Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler

The burst subsequently was detected in optical, infrared and by ground-based observatories, based on the rapid accurate position from Swift. Astronomers quickly learned that the GRB was located about 3.6 billion light-years away, which for these events is relatively close.

Gamma-ray bursts are the universe's most luminous explosions. Astronomers think most occur when massive stars run out of nuclear fuel and collapse under their own weight. As the core collapses into a black hole, jets of material shoot outward at nearly the speed of light.

The jets bore all the way through the collapsing star and continue into space, where they interact with gas previously shed by the star and generate bright afterglows that fade with time.

If the GRB is near enough, astronomers usually discover a supernova at the site a week or so after the outburst.

This animation shows a more detailed Fermi LAT view of GRB 130427A. The sequence shows high-energy (100 Mev to 100 GeV) gamma rays from a 20-degree-wide region of the sky starting three minutes before the burst to 14 hours after. Following an initial one-second spike, the LAT emission remained relatively quiet for the next 15 seconds while Fermi's GBM instrument showed bright, variable lower-energy emission. Then the burst re-brightened in the LAT over the next few minutes and remained bright for nearly half a day. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

"This GRB is in the closest 5 percent of bursts, so the big push now is to find an emerging supernova, which accompanies nearly all long GRBs at this distance," said Goddard's Neil Gehrels, principal investigator for Swift.

Ground-based observatories are monitoring the location of GRB 130427A and expect to find an underlying supernova by midmonth.

Explore further: Gravitational waves according to Planck

Related Stories

Fear no supernova

Dec 16, 2011

Given the incredible amounts of energy in a supernova explosion – as much as the sun creates during its entire lifetime – another erroneous doomsday theory is that such an explosion could happen ...

The Case of the Missing Gamma-ray Bursts

Oct 23, 2008

Gamma-ray bursts are by far the brightest and most powerful explosions in the Universe, second only to the Big Bang itself. So it might seem a bit surprising that a group of them has gone missing.

Recommended for you

Image: NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo

9 hours ago

This picture, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), shows a galaxy known as NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock). Its unusual shape is caused ...

Measuring the proper motion of a galaxy

10 hours ago

The motion of a star relative to us can be determined by measuring two quantities, radial motion and proper motion. Radial motion is the motion of a star along our line of sight. That is, motion directly ...

Gravitational waves according to Planck

Sep 22, 2014

Scientists of the Planck collaboration, and in particular the Trieste team, have conducted a series of in-depth checks on the discovery recently publicized by the Antarctic Observatory, which announced last ...

Infant solar system shows signs of windy weather

Sep 22, 2014

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have observed what may be the first-ever signs of windy weather around a T Tauri star, an infant analog of our own Sun. This may help ...

Finding hints of gravitational waves in the stars

Sep 22, 2014

Scientists have shown how gravitational waves—invisible ripples in the fabric of space and time that propagate through the universe—might be "seen" by looking at the stars. The new model proposes that ...

How gamma ray telescopes work

Sep 22, 2014

Yesterday I talked about the detection of gamma ray bursts, intense blasts of gamma rays that occasionally appear in distant galaxies. Gamma ray bursts were only detected when gamma ray satellites were put ...

User comments : 20

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tadchem
5 / 5 (2) May 03, 2013
It would seem that anything that had been living in that galaxy isn't any more.
Q-Star
3.7 / 5 (6) May 03, 2013
It would seem that anything that had been living in that galaxy isn't any more.


If they lived as Earth life does, I suspect that ya are correct. But what a show to die in.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (4) May 03, 2013
It would seem that anything that had been living in that galaxy isn't any more.


Only if they were in the beam or quite close to the source star.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (10) May 04, 2013
In AWT the photons (the very energetic photons of gamma ray in particular) are massive with their own gravity field, so they tend to coalesce into clusters which do propagate together and which could even collect the another photons from vast cosmic space like the rolling snowballs. This could explain the mystery of gamma ray bursts propagating at large distance in unexpected intensity and without scattering predicted with some quantum field theories, like the LQG.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (9) May 04, 2013
http://aetherwavetheory.blogspot.cz/2008/09/mass-of-photon.html of gamma ray bursts propagating at large distance in unexpected intensity and without scattering predicted with some quantum field theories, like the LQG.


There is no such thing as "AWT", you mean "IMO".
katesisco
1 / 5 (7) May 04, 2013
http://www.spacet..._20.html
Probably another magnetar. Probably made more of GGammow's nuclear fluid, aka Bose-Enstein condensate, aka ORMES. The Principle of Occam's Razor.
I wonder just how much of the Milky Way is wound up in magnetars since we only see 12. Since these magnetars can contain as much energy as a hundred billion suns, how much of the MIlky Way's energy is in magnetars?
katesisco
1 / 5 (8) May 04, 2013
Could our Sol be a low field magnetar? http://scitechdai...agnetar/
angelhkrillin
1 / 5 (2) May 04, 2013
Hopefully they find that a black hole has occurred if the energy was large enough.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (10) May 04, 2013
There is no such thing as "AWT", you mean "IMO".
I'm using logical reasoning often here, but some of them cannot be derived from postulates of AWT. The "AWT" denomination therefore means, that the logics of reasoning isn't proprietary, but it belongs into coherent logical framework of AWT. Most of theories were proposed by a single person (it's rather rule than the exception). The theory doesn't need to be approved with some intersubjective authority for being called so. No such an authority doesn't exist, after all. Your attempts to cover the AWT denomination is just an transparent attempt for dismissal if not censorship of logical consistency of my ideas - so please, try to avoid it for future, until you have no explanation, why exactly my particular reasoning DOES NOT depend on AWT.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (8) May 04, 2013
Errata: "no such an authority doesn't exist" should sound "no such an authority does exist", of course...

The massive behavior of photon manifests itself in many ways, in particular with the fact, during explosions of supernova most of matter of such star is radiated into space in form of photons - so that the photons must be massive. When the photon is absorbed, it increases the mass of absorbing body in measurable way, as it was demonstrated during absorption of X-ray photons with atom nuclei inside of mass spectrometer. The excited atom nuclei, which absorbed photon were heavier than the normal ones exactly by m=h/lambda factor.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (8) May 04, 2013
Could our Sol be a low field magnetar? http://scitechdai...magnetar
I really do presume, that the Sun emanates the neutrinos in preferential direction - in this sense it behaves even like the weak pulsar. The evidence is the periodicity of speed of decay of radioactive elements inside of spaceprobes around Sun.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (8) May 04, 2013
The theory doesn't need to be approved with some intersubjective authority ..


No, it just needs to exist, and you don't have one.
cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (8) May 04, 2013
Magnetars? You mean the mathematical-models of stars based on 'frozen-in' magnetic fields and 'magnetic reconnection'?

"Magnetic reconnection is pseudo-science." Hannes Alfven
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (4) May 04, 2013
Could our Sol be a low field magnetar? http://scitechdai...agnetar/

No
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (6) May 05, 2013
But why NO? Tautological answers which have no logics are useless for understanding: they're representing the psychological attitude, not the rational reasoning. The people who are shouting such an answers apparently cannot think logically. They're preachers of religion, not rational reasoning.
No, it just needs to exist, and you don't have one.
LOL. Prove it. You should prove by example, that my answers all over here have no underlying logical/geometric framework built in and they're mutually contradictory. BTW For lowdimensional silly observer the hyperdimensional ideas do appear like less or more fuzzy mess. He cannot see connections between their parts from his low-dimensional perspective.
GSwift7
3.4 / 5 (5) May 06, 2013
But why NO?


This is how it works:

Let's say that the above supernova might be a puppy. From this point we can start to compare the properties we observe to the properties we would expect if it were a puppy. Upon careful examination of available data, we can see that the supernova is clearly not a puppy.

This is how we classify things.

In the case above, we have observed an explosion that clearly looks like supernovae we have seen before. So, we're calling it a supernova. A magnetar would be emitting an entirely different kind of burst, which is unique to magnetars. A magnetar doesn't look any more like a supernova than a puppy does. They are easily recognizable.

Magnetar wiki:

http://en.wikiped...Magnetar
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 07, 2013
'Liberals' don't seem to mind a culture of death. Support for abortion, those who support depopulation the planet (disciples of Ehrlich), homosexual marriage. Most also claim to be atheist.
They should look up what happened to the Shakers. The homosexual marriage will inevitably lead to polygamy increasing the numbers of Mormons and Muslims quickly.

no fate
3 / 5 (4) May 07, 2013
What does that have to do with a GRB?

'Liberals' don't seem to mind a culture of death. Support for abortion, those who support depopulation the planet (disciples of Ehrlich), homosexual marriage. Most also claim to be atheist.
They should look up what happened to the Shakers. The homosexual marriage will inevitably lead to polygamy increasing the numbers of Mormons and Muslims quickly.



Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (4) May 07, 2013
No, [AWT] just needs to exist, and you don't have one.
LOL. Prove it.


Russell's Teapot applies, it is for you to publish your maths, not for me to prove you have none.

http://en.wikiped...s_teapot
Neinsense99
1 / 5 (4) May 26, 2013
'Liberals' don't seem to mind a culture of death. Support for abortion, those who support depopulation the planet (disciples of Ehrlich), homosexual marriage. Most also claim to be atheist.
They should look up what happened to the Shakers. The homosexual marriage will inevitably lead to polygamy increasing the numbers of Mormons and Muslims quickly.


It might help your credibility to comment on the subject at hand. (Skims comment) OTOH, probably not...