Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The world's first movie of black hole birth

27.03.2008
The date of 2008.03.19 marked the brightest ever cosmic explosion observed from the Earth. The outburst denoted as GRB 080319B was probably the death of a massive star leading to the creation of a black hole.

For the first time the birth of a black hole have been filmed. Cameras of the "Pi of the Sky" project recorded this remarkable event with 4 minutes sequence of 10 seconds long images.

In almost 20 seconds the object became so bright that it could be visible with the naked eye. Then it begun fading and in 4 minutes it became 100 times fainter. At that time the observation was taken over by larger telescopes.

The "Pi of the Sky" observation combined with the Swift satellite gamma-ray data for the first time confirmed with 10s precision that optical emission starts simultaneously with the gamma-ray burst. Optical observations during the first seconds of the burst are crucial to understand the mechanism of releasing such huge energy.

This observation was the proof of the novel concept of the "Pi of the Sky" project. Usually, optical emission from GRB is observed by telescopes listening to alerts from satellite gamma ray detectors. Signal distribution and turning the telescope take some time and the very first minute of the outburst cannot be observed. The principle of the "Pi of the Sky" project is different. The apparatus monitors continuously large fraction of the sky taking 10s exposures and detects optical flashes independently, while the satellite information confirms the origin of the flash. Currently "Pi of the Sky" apparatus consists of two cameras installed in Las Campanas Observatory. They cover 20x20 degree of the sky. To increase the chance of observing a GRB 32 new cameras are under construction. They will cover 1/3 of the visible sky continuously. Original plan was to cover pi (~3.14) steradians of the sky, giving the name for the project. The name recalls also the title of John Barrow book "Pi in the sky" arguing that the phenomena we observe are governed by physical laws expressed in mathematical language.

The “Pi of the Sky” project was inspired by Bohdan Paczynski, great astrophysicist who past away last year. He contributed a lot to the understanding of GRBs and he always claimed that small telescopes have large potential for sky surveys.

The project is conducted by collaboration of Polish research institutes: Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies (Warsaw), Center for Theoretical Physics PAS (Warsaw), Warsaw University, Warsaw University of Technology, Space Research Center PAS (Warsaw), University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski (Warsaw), Pedagogical University of Cracow.

Marek Pawlowski | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ipj.gov.pl
http://grb.fuw.edu.pl/pi/ot/grb080319b/news.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>