ALMA reveals for the first time kilonova millimeter radiation

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[EN VIDÉO] Gamma ray bursts: Collisions of neutron stars light up the universe
Gamma ray bursts are the brightest events in the universe in the field of electromagnetic waves. We can observe one per day on average on the celestial vault and they occur in distant galaxies. There are two types, short and long. This video explains the nature of short bursts.

Many developments in astronomy resulted from a new opening Window Monitoring in a new range of Domain electromagnetic; The X ray detect the stellar black holesrays Infrared Inside Star and . Nurseries Radio waves decimeter arm structure of the Milky Way.

This is one of the reasons for the designAtacama Large Millimeter/Meter Matrix (Alma). Another, complementary, is that network radio telescopes Constructed in this way makes it possible Opening Summary Thus getting a very large virtual instrument without having to create it.

Today, we learned that the ALMA radio telescope network was first used in the field, field observation radio Millimeter and sub-millimeter operations Astrophysics associated with kilonova. Remember that these are collisions fromneutron stars which was first discovered in the form of fools Short gamma rays, the nature of which was only recently determined, although suspected for decades. The energy released is enormous, making Gamma ray bursts Among the brightest phenomena in Universe.

In this artist’s video, two neutron stars of low dimensions but very high density are about to merge and explode into a kilonova. This particularly rare event results in the emission of gravitational waves and short bursts of gamma rays. Emissions were observed on August 17, 2017, respectively by Ligo-Virgo and Fermi/Integral. Numerous detailed observations made using ESO telescopes confirmed the nature of this object – a kilonova – located within the galaxy NGC 4993, about 130 million light-years from Earth. This type of thing is the main source of heavy chemical elements, such as gold and platinum, in the universe. © ESO

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Key to this identification was the emergence of multi-message astronomy with the simultaneous discovery by Ligo and Virgo Fromgravitational waves Coming from the source GW170817, clearly associated with the Celestial Vault with emissionsElectromagnetic waves Both in the X domain and gamma (GRB 170817A) – observed by satellite Chandra And the Closed – , than in the visible field with a stretch Las Cumbres Observatory To cite only these tools.

Colliding neutron stars that produce gold and platinum

This time , astrophysicists Publish an article in Astrophysical Journal Letterswhich is a free version available at arXivwhich speaks of the observed GRB 211106A short gamma-ray burst – like its name Gamma Ray Burst on November 6, 2021. As in the case of the gravitational wave source (gravity wave) observed on August 17, 2017, that the collision between neutron stars arises from the fact that the two stars The planets lost energy in the form of gravitational waves faster and faster, causing them to fall relentlessly and faster and faster towards each other.

Fusion did not produce thermonuclear reactions when heavy elements such as gold and platinum were formedbut also a very high level parallel particle beam gears It also produces an equal parallel beam of Photons High energy gamma. The Earth passed through this beam by chance like an observer lit by a beacon.

The flow of particles and gamma photons by injecting themselves into the interstellar medium excites and propels them issue Contains, to shine in response. It’s this radiation the rest which was first discovered in the accessible spectral range by ALMA. Before this tool, telescopes Millimeters were not sensitive enough to detect these auroras, as GRBs are often observed at billions oflight years subordinate Milky Way. So we only observe ancient GRBs and also think that for some reason still unknown, they were more abundant during the first billion years of the universe’s history. In fact, GRB 211106A occurred while a coilUniverse It was only observable 40% of its current age. However, even if a kilonova is clearly visible from afar in gamma, this is no longer the case for the less bright residual radiation.

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Initially, when the X-ray isotope of GRB 211106A was only discovered using satellite Swiftastrophysicists thought the kilonova could still come from a neighboring galaxy, although we couldn’t relate it to it. Across Visible observations with Hubble – probably because there is a large amount of dust on the line of sight near the GRB.

But finally, thanks to Alma, it was possible to find a faint and distant galaxy where the gamma-ray burst occurred. The distance at which it was determined, it was necessary to conclude that it was one of the most powerful GRBs discovered so far …

Alma, in association with JWST notes (James Webb Space Telescope) It should make it possible to proceed with the study of short gamma-ray bursts.

Epic detection GW170817. For a fairly accurate French translation, click the white rectangle at the bottom right. The English translation should then appear. Then click on the nut to the right of the rectangle, then click on “Subtitles” and finally on “Translate automatically”. Choose “French”. © Science vs Cinema

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