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 Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>