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  • 13 December, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Binary Merger Of Gamma-Ray Burst with Kilonova

Binary Merger Of Gamma-Ray Burst with Kilonova

  • A long Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) produced by a compact binary merger twinned with kilonova emissions was recently reported as a rare astronomical event.
  • The Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT), India's largest optical telescope, also confirmed this combination, which had never before been accepted or proven scientifically.
  • The GRB, designated as GRB211211A, lasted for more than 50 seconds.
  • Kilonovae are produced by the collision of two compact objects, such as binary neutron stars or neutron stars and black holes.

How do Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB) work?

  • GRBs are short, high-energy gamma radiations that are released when massive stars in the universe collapse or die. They are massive but incredibly bright.
  • They are the most potent cosmic events, and they can be seen from billions of light-years away.
  • A light-year, or 9.5 trillion kilometres, is the distance a light beam covers in one year on Earth.
  • Based on whether the event lasts longer than or less than two seconds, astronomers categorise them as long or short.

Long Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs):

  • These bursts are seen in connection with the death of large stars.
  • A black hole is created when the core of a star many times more massive than the Sun abruptly collapses due to fuel exhaustion.
  • A black hole is a region in space where the matter has been compressed to such an extent that it has produced a gravitational field from which even light cannot escape.
  • Some of the matter that is swirling toward the black hole escapes as two strong jets that travel in opposite directions at nearly the speed of light.
  • Only when one of these jets happens to be almost directly pointed at Earth can astronomers detect a GRB.
  • Each jet pierces the star, sending out a pulse of gamma rays, the light with the highest energy, that can last for several minutes. The star that was damaged by the burst then rapidly expands as a supernova.
  • An exploding star that has reached the end of its life is known as a supernova.

Short Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB):

  • Contrarily, a short GRB is created when two compact objects, like neutron stars, which are also created during stellar collapse, spiral inward over a period of billions of years and collide.
  • One of the potential evolutionary endpoints for high mass stars is a neutron star.

Source: The Indian Express

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