The October 2022 gamma-ray burst, GRB 221009A, is certainly the brightest and most powerful event of this nature ever observed. In any case, it is the most documented. A study was published yesterday in the journal Nature This allows us to better understand the interactions between this type of distant cosmic phenomenon and our planet. And the findings are surprising, if not “worrying.”

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(on video) Gamma-ray burst: Neutron star collision lights up the universe Gamma-ray bursts are the brightest events in the universe…

In October 2022, several satellites including integral of’European Space AgencyEuropean Space Agency (ESA) and Chinese CSES (China Earthquake-Electromagnetic Satellite) detected and observed an exceptionally bright and long-lasting gamma-ray burst. it GlowGlow Light with record energy reached Earth at the end of a journey of 2 billion light years and collided, disrupting the ionosphere in an unprecedented way, according to a study published this Tuesday in the journal Nature. Nature, There is a layer of ionosphereAtmosphereAtmosphere Which contains electrically charged gases which are called plasma. It extends from about 50 to 950 kilometers above sea level.

The incident was described as follows: Perhaps to frightento frighten Brightest gamma ever discovered said Mirco Piersanti, of the University of L’Aquila, Italy, and lead author of the study. GRB 221009A (this is its official name) will come from the eruption of either starstar Late in life, i.e. largely from birth black holeblack hole, or even both! In this scenario, a massive star explodes and goes supernova, before it itself collapses and becomes a black hole.

Investigate the effects of gamma-ray bursts on the atmosphere

Study shows that gamma raysgamma rays It impacted the Earth for 800 seconds, causing ionospheric disruption for several hours. Although disturbances in this atmospheric layer have been observed before, this is the first time that intense disturbances, manifested by a strong change in electric fieldelectric field In the upper part of the ionosphere.

,This is amazing. We can see distant space events that also impact Earth,

For nearly twenty years, scientists have debated the possibility that gamma-ray bursts could affect the upper ionosphere. The debate is now closed! ESA scientist and Integral team member Eric Kulkers expresses his surprise: ” This is amazing. We can see events from distant space that also impact Earth. ,

A wonder, yet tinged with a certain fear

This incident that happened GALAXYGALAXY Located about 2 billion light years away, reinforcing the idea that ” supernovasupernova May have more serious consequences than expected in our own galaxy », underlines Mirko Piersanti. And to increase the likelihood that this ” Not only affects the ionosphere but also causes damage ozone layerozone layer “. This scenario could allow radiation ultravioletultraviolet Of SoleilSoleil To reach the earth’s surface. Such an impact has been speculated as a possible cause of some of the mass extinction events that have occurred on Earth in the past.

Are gamma bursts dangerous to life?

The violence of gamma-ray bursts makes us wonder what could happen in the immediate vicinity of one of these events and whether existing forms of life could be destroyed.

a few years ago, some astronomersastronomers It has been hypothesized that gamma-ray bursts could destroy all forms of life in the galaxy where they occur. However, this outlook currently seems too pessimistic. Recent progress in this field shows that gamma-ray bursts radiate their energy along two narrow beams, similar to the way a lighthouse operates on Earth, rejecting the idea that they are like bomb blasts. Scatter in all directions. However, this does not mean that gamma-ray bursts are free from danger. According to some theories, anything passing through these rays from a distance of about 200 light years would be doomed to disintegration.

But rest assured, there is nothing to worry about. To date, within a radius of more or less 200 light years, we do not know of any star that might merge into a black hole at the end of its life or of any massive star! Two events are known to produce gamma-ray bursts.

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