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Scientists Discover the AfterGlow of a Dying Star: The Most Powerful Light Source the Universe has Ever Seen

Image Credit: News Week

Gamma-ray produced by a dying star produces intense flashes of light. The Fermi gamma-ray space telescope captures these rays in most occasions. The MAGIC telescopes, installed on the Canary Islands, detected the light and confirmed the energy level for the first time. 

The gamma-ray often caused by the dying star. When a star dies, the core of the star collapses. As the density of the centre is extremely high, it shoots hot plasma in all directions. The hot plasma travels at the speed of light. These hot plasma jets results in the gamma-ray. 

Generally, the telescopes in space use two methods to recognize the gamma rays produced by the dying star. Firstly, some bursts stay for a relatively long period. They are known as long-duration bursts. While the second type of explosions lasts for a relatively shorter period, such kind of bursts starts with a bang and a bright and dim light emitted across all directions and fades away quickly. This type of explosion is known as a variable phase. 

When a star’s core collapses, the sun continues to rotate on its axis. As a result, the centre starts to spew the hot ionized matters. The star’s ionized matter is called a gamma-ray burst. 

The Recent Discovery

The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope could detect the rays of light carrying giga-electron volt energies. Until January this year, for 20 years, scientists’ community was expecting a light in the afterglow. But, a research team, including Professor Soebur Razzaque, predicts that the afterglow consists of powerful rays of light. They expected the light is having a tera-electron volt level of energy. 

The researchers found that the electrons found in the jet undergo another set of processes. They named the process as inverse-Compton radiation. As a result, the event generates lights with a high level of energy. This might be in tera-electron volts, Professor Soebur Razzaque revealed.

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