Astronomers have discovered one of the most powerful and oldest explosions that occurred nearly 10 billion years ago. The explosion called SGRB181123B occurred 3.8 billion years after the Big Bang, which is a cosmological event that led to the formation of our universe. Astronomers claim that this discovery provides a “rare opportunity” to study the neutron star merger when the universe was “young.” It is said to be the second most distant, recognized short gamma-ray burst (SGRB) ever detected, and the most distant “event with optical afterglow”.

The research was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters on Tuesday. The Northwestern University press release quoted the senior author of the study as saying that it was more of the explosion of SGRB181123B that occurred nearly 10 billion light-years away. Fang Wenhui said its discovery was a combination of luck and quick action.

“Of course we did not expect to find distant SGRBs, because they are very rare and very weak… We use telescopes to “forensics” to understand their local environment, because the appearance of their home galaxies can tell us a lot about their potential background. The physical principles of these systems.”

SRGB is described as the most active and brightest form of explosion in the universe after the merger of two neutron stars. Usually, astronomers detect nearly 8 SRGB each year. However, since the afterglow only lasts about an hour, it is difficult to learn.

Fong added: “With SGRB, if you go up too late, you will not find anything. However, every once in a while, if you react quickly enough, you will be able to make a very beautiful detection.”

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How to detect and observe the explosion of SGRB181123B

The explosion of SGRB181123B was first discovered in 2018 by NASA’s Neil Gellers Swift Observatory. A few hours after being discovered, the Northwest team used the Gemini North Telescope at the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii to remotely visit the International Gemini Observatory. Since then, the researchers used an 8.1-meter telescope to measure the optical afterglow of SGRB181123B.

Since then, more follow-up observations from Chile and Arizona indicate the origin of the explosion.

Wong said: “The discovery of an SGRB at this point in the history of the universe indicates that when a large number of stars are forming in the universe, the neutron star pairs may have merged quite quickly.”


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