The powerful flash of gamma

Orbiting Fermi gamma-ray telescope (FGST) caught unusually distant gamma-ray bursts, whose power has broken all previous achievements of these cosmic explosions. Scientists say that some of its features make for a fresh look at the discussed current theory of gravity.

Flash GRB 080916C observed in the constellation Carina September 16. In addition to catch her first FGST this phenomenon had to consider a number of other orbiting and ground-based instruments. But now, the details became known, writes

Distance from us to the source of radiation was a whopping 12.2 billion light years. Energy gamma-ray emission in this outbreak was superior flow in the visible range (estimates vary) of three thousand — five billion times. Power is an explosion, as astronomers have calculated, was comparable to the "boom" of 9000 ordinary supernovae, and gas particles are emitted by these gamma-rays scattered from the rate of not less than 99.9999% of the speed of light.

Mysterious feature of the event was vremennaya delay between peaks of high and low energy. Previously, scientists have observed this only one gamma-ray burst.

There are several possible explanations.

The first relates to the delay characteristics of the situation immediately at the scene: a black hole surrounded by matter, is subject to an enormous gravity, magnetic fields and radiation.

Thus, "the separation in time of gamma-ray bursts of high and low energy may be due to the fact that these flows were born in different parts of the jet, either because they were generally formed by different mechanisms," — says physicist Peter Michelson (Peter Michelson) Stanford (Stanford University), a leading scientist FGST.

The second option — more speculative, but also more exciting — states that the time lag is the result of a long journey through the universe of these waves.

If the correct theory of quantum gravity, in which the space in an extremely small scale, is a so-called quantum foam, the rays of low energy will move through the space a little faster than the high-energy rays.

This difference is not big, to see her in the surrounding processes. But at a distance run over 12 billion light years away a tiny difference in speed will have some rays of distinguishable lag in comparison to others.

Which version to choose — is unclear. The answer may give new observations on all the same FGST. Just need to wait a few more similar gamma-ray bursts at different distances from the Earth.

If the time delay between the radiation fluxes of different energy is generated directly on the site of the explosion, it will be more or less the same for all such disasters, as close (relatively, of course, because it is a monstrous distances) and distant. But if the lag is formed during travel light through space, it will be greater the further away from us there was a gamma-ray burst.

The most powerful explosions in the universe, as researchers believe, are exotic in the collapse of supermassive stars that become black holes. FGST to better understand these great processes.


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