|23 December, 2019

UAEU Scientists, physics department are part of the team that discovered highest energy ever released from the most powerful cosmic explosion in the Universe

This is the highest energy radiation that has ever been detected from a cosmic explosion in the Universe

The researchers Dr. Aquib Moin and Saleh Nasri , Physics Department ,UAEU, with an international team of astronomers have detected record-breaking energy release from an extremely violent and powerful explosion. This is the highest energy radiation that has ever been detected from a cosmic explosion in the Universe.

The source of this radiation was a “Gamma-Ray Burst”, an extremely powerful explosion which occurred in a distant galaxy about 4.5 billion light-years away.

 “Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful explosions in the Universe that are thought be produced when a massive star violently explodes at the end of its life and collapses into a black hole or a neutron star, or it could be the result of binary blackhole/neutron star merger”, said Dr. Aquib Moin, a UAE-based scientist associated with the United Arab Emirates University who is a part of the team that made the ground-breaking discovery.

 “These events are very short-lived, typically a few seconds but during that time they can outshine an entire galaxy and release energy equivalent to what our Sun would release in its entire lifetime of 10 billion years”, he added.

GRBs fall under the category of “transient” sources, which can just appear on the sky at any time and are initially detected by gamma-ray detectors onboard satellites. These events are brief at high energies but there is remnant emission at lower frequencies (called the afterglow) which can last from minutes to months, which can be monitored using ground based optical and radio telescopes.

“These kind of events actually serve as extreme Astrophysics laboratories and potentially hold valuable clues on the stellar lifecycle, impact of astrophysical processes and the fundamental mysteries of the Universe related to how and why the Universe appears the way we see it today but these events are still shrouded in mystery”, Dr. Moin said.

This GRB was detected by two space-based gamma-ray detectors called the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope on January 14, 2019. It was given the name GRB190114C and right after the detection, its sky position was disseminated to astronomers around the world. In response, follow-up observations began at a number of ground-based observatories.

As part of the follow-up, the GRB was observed using the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) telescopes in La Palma, Spain. The MAGIC telescopes clearly detected gamma-ray emission in an energy range of 200 billion to 1 trillion electron Volts.

“This is about a trillion times brighter than the visible light that we can see with our eyes making it the most energetic outburst in the Universe that has ever been detected”, Dr. Moin said.

As part of the follow-up, the GRB was observed using the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) telescopes in La Palma, Spain. The MAGIC telescopes clearly detected gamma-ray emission in an energy range of 200 billion to 1 trillion electron Volts.

“This is about a trillion times brighter than the visible light that we can see with our eyes making it the most energetic outburst in the Universe that has ever been detected”, Dr. Moin said.

Dr. Moin and his collaborators detected radio emission from this GRB using the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) telescope in Australia. A multi-wavelength analysis using the gamma-ray, radio and optical data was then carried out to put everything in perspective.

“The analysis showed that in absence of the detection this ultra-high energy emission we were missing about half of the energy that what these GRBs actually produce. We detected it this time and it will have huge implications on our understanding of these extreme events and how they can explain the workings of the Universe”, Dr. Moin said.

He further added that this discovery and more such discoveries will lead us to newer clues on the most sought-after questions related to the nature and the behaviour of the Universe.

-Ends-

About the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) – The National University

Founded in 1976 by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAEU is a comprehensive, research-intensive university enrolling more than 14,000 Emirati and international students.  As the UAE’s flagship university, UAEU offers a full range of accredited, high-quality graduate and undergraduate programs through nine Colleges: Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Food and Agriculture; Humanities and Social Sciences; IT; Law; Medicine and Health Sciences; and Science.  With a distinguished international faculty, state-of-the art new campus, and full range of student support services, UAEU offers a living-learning environment that is unmatched in the UAE.  

As a research-intensive university of international stature, UAEU works with its partners in industry to provide research solutions to challenges faced by the nation, the region, and the world.  The University has established research centers of strategic importance to the country and the region which are advancing knowledge in critical areas ranging from water resources to cancer treatments.  UAEU is currently ranked #5 in the Arab world, and #350 globally per the QS rankings

UAEU’s academic programs have been developed in partnership with employers, so our graduates are in high demand.  UAEU alumni hold key positions in industry, commerce, and government throughout the region.  Our continuing investments in facilities, services, and staff ensure that UAEU will continue to serve as a model of innovation and excellence. 

For further information contact:

University Outreach Department
Tel: +971 (0)3 713 5977 
Email: uod@uaeu.ac.ae 

© Press Release 2019

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release was provided from an external third party provider. This website is not responsible for, and does not control, such external content. This content is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither this website nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this press release.

The press release is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Neither this website nor our affiliates shall be liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the content, or for any actions taken by you in reliance thereon. You expressly agree that your use of the information within this article is at your sole risk.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, this website, its parent company, its subsidiaries, its affiliates and the respective shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, advertisers, content providers and licensors will not be liable (jointly or severally) to you for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages, including without limitation, lost profits, lost savings and lost revenues, whether in negligence, tort, contract or any other theory of liability, even if the parties have been advised of the possibility or could have foreseen any such damages.

More From Press Releases