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Apr 11

Breakthrough study confirms cause of short Gamma-Ray Bursts

Source: NASA News


Merger of two neutron stars recently simulated using a new supercomputer model.
Image credit: NASA/AEI/ZIB/M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla

A new supercomputer simulation shows the collision of two neutron stars can naturally produce the magnetic structures thought to power the high-speed particle jets associated with short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The study provides the most detailed glimpse of the forces driving some of the universe's most energetic explosions.

The state-of-the-art simulation ran for nearly seven weeks on the Damiana computer cluster at the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI) in Potsdam, Germany. It traces events that unfold over 35 milliseconds - about three times faster than the blink of an eye.

GRBs are among the brightest events known, emitting as much energy in a few seconds as our entire galaxy does in a year. Most of this emission comes in the form of gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light. (read more)

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