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Short gamma-ray bursts traced farther into distant universe

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Short gamma-ray bursts host galaxies beyond cosmic time.Credit: WM Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenko

A team of astronomers led by Northwestern University has created the most extensive inventory of short gamma-ray burst (SGRB) galaxies to date.

Using several sensitive instruments and sophisticated galaxy modeling, the researchers identified 84 SGRB galactic homes and examined 69 identified features. host galaxyIn their findings, they found that about 85% of the SGRBs studied belong to the young generation, which is actively forming stars. galaxy.

Astronomers also found that more SGRBs occurred earlier, when the universe was much younger and at greater distances from it. host The center of the galaxy—than previously known. Surprisingly, her SGRBs have been discovered far outside the host galaxy. It’s a finding that raises questions about how it could have traveled this far, as if it had been ‘kicked out’.

“This is the biggest catalog Anya Nugent, a Northwestern graduate student who led research focused on modeling host galaxies, said: “We want to build this catalog and eventually have enough hosts. Seeing patterns in galaxies and drawing important conclusions is exactly what the field needed to advance our understanding of these amazing events and what happens after stars die.”

The team will publish two papers detailing the new catalog. Both papers will be published on his Monday, November 21st. Journal of Astrophysics. SGRB is one of the brightest explosions in the universe, so the team calls its catalog BRIGHT (Broadband Repository for Investigating Gamma-ray burst Host Traits). All of BRIGHT’s data and modeling products are published online for community use.

Nugent is a graduate student in physics and astronomy at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University and a member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). She was advised by Wen-fai Fong, her assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Weinberg and a principal member of her CIERA, who led her second study focused on SGRB host observations. I’m here.

Benchmark for future comparison

when two neutron star The collision produces a momentary flash of intense gamma-ray light known as an SGRB. Gamma rays last only a few seconds, but light can last for hours before dropping below detection levels (an event called afterglow). The SGRB is one of the brightest explosions in the universe, with up to 12 eruptions detected and identified each year. They currently represent the only way to study and understand large populations of merging neutron star systems.

Since NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory first discovered SGRB afterglows in 2005, astronomers have spent the past 17 years trying to understand which galaxies produce these powerful bursts. Stars within galaxies can give insight into the environmental conditions required to generate SGRBs, and can link mysterious bursts to the origin of neutron star mergers. So far, only one SGRB (GRB 170817A) has a confirmed neutron star merger origin. gravitational wave detector A neutron star binary merger was observed (GW170817).

Short gamma-ray bursts tracked into distant space

Short gamma-ray bursts host galaxies beyond cosmic time.Credit: WM Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenko

“Within 10 years, the next generation of gravitational-wave observatories will be able to detect neutron star mergers at the same distances as the current SGRB,” Fong said. “Thus, our catalog serves as a benchmark for comparison with future detections of neutron star mergers.”

“This catalog can really affect more than just one class of transients like SGRB,” says Yuxin “Vic” Dong, a Ph.D. in astrophysics and co-author of the paper. said. Student at Northwestern University. “With the wealth of data and results presented in the catalog, we believe that various research projects will make use of it, perhaps even in ways we haven’t thought of yet.”

Insight into Neutron Star Systems

To create the catalog, the researchers used several highly sensitive instruments at the WM Keck Observatory, the Gemini Observatory, the MMT Observatory, the Large Binocular Observatory, and the Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory to identify some of the faintest galaxies. We acquired deep images and spectroscopy. Identified in a survey of SGRB hosts. The team also used data from NASA’s two major observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Prior to these new studies, astronomers characterized host galaxies from dozens of SGRBs. The new catalog has four times the number of existing samples.With the advantage of a much larger dataset, the catalog shows that SGRB host galaxies may be young and forming stars Also Old age and death. This means that neutron star systems form in a wide range of environments, and many of them have fast timescales from formation to merger. Because neutron star mergers produce heavy elements like gold and platinum, the data in the catalog also help scientists better understand when precious metals were first produced in the universe.

“Young SGRBs found in young host galaxies are likely to have originated from binary systems formed in star formation ‘bursts’ and are so tightly coupled that they can merge very quickly,” says Nugent. “Long-time theories have suggested that there must be a way for neutron stars to merge quickly, but until now, we haven’t been able to witness them. We’re in a much older galaxy.” We found evidence of old SGRBs in , and believe in those stars. Galaxies either took longer to form binary stars, or were more separated binary systems, and therefore took longer to merge. rice field.”

Potential of JWST

NASA’s new flagship infrared observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), has the ability to detect the faintest host galaxies from the very early days of the universe, and how long ago neutron star mergers and mergers occurred. We are poised to further advance our understanding of I started.

“I am most excited about the possibility of using JWST to investigate the sources of these rare and explosive events in greater depth,” says Nugent. “JWST’s ability to observe faint galaxies in the universe could reveal many more SGRB host galaxies currently evading detection, possibly revealing missing clusters and links to the early universe.” There are even things to do.”

“I started observing this project 10 years ago, and I’m very happy to pass the torch to the next generation of researchers,” said Fong. “Seeing years of research come to life in this catalog is one of the greatest joys of my career, thanks to a young researcher who has truly taken this research to the next level.”

For more information:
Short GRB host galaxy I: photometric and spectroscopic catalogs, host associations, and galactocentric offsets, astrophysics journal (2022). iopscience.iop.org/article/10.…847/1538-4357/ac91d0

Short GRB Host Galaxies II: Redshifted legacy samples, stellar population properties, and their impact on the origin of neutron star mergers, astrophysics journal (2022). iopscience.iop.org/article/10.…847/1538-4357/ac91d1

Quote: A short gamma-ray burst (21 November 2022) tracked into the distant universe will be released on 22 November 2022 at https://phys.org/news/2022-11-short-gamma-ray-distant Taken from -universe.html.

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