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The photons streaming from mysterious gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic form of electromagnetic energy in the universe, break out from relativistic jets shooting out from dying supernova stars, according to the latest research.
GRBs were discovered when US satellites were searching for gamma radiation emitted from any nuclear weapons being tested in space in the 1960s. The military did detect signals, but they weren’t close to home. Instead, these swarms of gamma ray photons were coming from galaxies far away.
Scientists - Events - Milliseconds - Minutes - Explosions
Scientists believe that the events, which can last anywhere from a few milliseconds to a few minutes, are produced from freak supernova explosions. Not all high mass stars ending their lives as supernova release gamma ray bursts – only ones that are particularly hefty where the old stellar core collapses straight into a black hole, skipping the neutron star phase.
The mechanism in how the radiation shoots out at speeds close to the speed of light, however, is still unknown. A team of astrophysicists led by Riken, a research lab in Japan, believe they have come closer...
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