The Most Powerful Explosion In The Universe Detected By NASA, Sent Shockwaves To Earth.

NASA has detected the most powerful explosion ever in the universe, which was also felt on Earth. What happened?
The Most Powerful Explosion In The Universe Detected By NASA Sent Shockwaves To Earth
The Most Powerful Explosion In The Universe Detected By NASA Sent Shockwaves To Earth

Astronomers at NASA announced they had discovered a massive explosion from outer space that was felt even on Earth. 

On October 9, astronomers discovered an extremely intense and persistent pulse of high-energy radiation that sent shockwaves to Earth.

A surge of X-rays and gamma rays swept through the solar system triggering detectors on NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, and Wind spacecraft, among others.

The burst was detected by Orbiting High-energy Monitor Alert Network (OHMAN). 

OHMAN is a joint association between NASA’s NICER, an X-ray telescope, and the Japan-based MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image). 

What Caused The Explosion?

This was the most powerful explosion ever detected in the known universe. The burst is now being called GRB 221009A. The prefix GRB is an acronym for Gamma-Ray Burst. 

GRB 221009A is the most powerful gamma-ray burst ever detected in the universe. 

According to NASA, “Gamma-ray burst (GRB) is the most powerful class of explosions in the universe and ranks among the most luminous events known.”

The explosion came from the direction of Sagitta, a striking constellation in the Northern sky, (not to be confused with the constellation Sagittarius). It traveled to Earth over the course of almost 1.9 billion years. 

Astronomers believe that the explosion was caused by the birth of a black hole caused by a supernova (at the core of a dying star). 

As a growing black hole generates strong jets of particles almost as fast as light. As those jets fly into outer space and puncture through the star, they produce X-rays and gamma rays.

Also Read | Fire-Breathing “Dragon” Black Hole Discovered By Indian Scientists.

What Are Gamma Rays?

Gamma rays are high-energy electromagnetic radiation emitted from radioactive elements, such as uranium or radium. 

They are also emitted naturally by the hottest and most energetic cosmic entities, such as the Sun during solar flares.

They are part of the electromagnetic spectrum and are quite similar to X-rays. However, the difference between them is that they are much higher in frequency (energy) and shorter in wavelength. Gamma rays are used in medical imaging, nuclear physics, and other fields. They can be detected using a special camera called a scintillator.

Also Read | NASA’s Hubble Telescope Discovers A 4 Million Year Old Giant Bubble Nebula.

The GRB was terrifyingly close to Earth. Because of its proximity, it lasted over 10 hours and sent pulses to the planet. 

Fortunately, the most powerful gamma-ray burst was far enough so it couldn’t harm the planet. If the burst had occurred any closer to the planet, it would have proven to be dangerous for life on Earth. According to scientists, an explosion of this kind would have severed the ozone layer which protects Earth from the harmful Ultra Violet (UV) rays emanating from the Sun. 

According to experts, it may be decades or maybe longer before another major explosion of this magnitude occurs.


Can a gamma-ray burst destroy a star?

gamma-ray bursts are produced from the birth of a black hole, which happens when a massive star explodes. Gamma-ray bursts are powerful and blindingly illuminating, however, they cannot destroy huge stars.

Has a gamma-ray burst ever hit the Earth?

Not yet. GRB 221009A was close enough to Earth to send pulses, but it did not hit the planet.

What is the most powerful gamma ray burst?

GRB 221009A is the most powerful gamma-ray burst ever detected in the universe. 
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