EPIC camera shows the expanding rings caused by a flash of X-rays
Credits: ESA, S. Vaughan (University of Leicester)
ESA’s X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has imaged a spectacular set of rings which appear to expand, with a speed a thousand times faster than that of light, around the point in the sky where a powerful gamma-ray explosion took place in early December. This is the first time that such a fascinating event, called an `echo’, has been seen in X-ray wavelengths.
This echo forms when the powerful radiation of a gamma-ray burst, coming from far away, crosses a slab of dust in our Galaxy and is scattered by it, like the beam of a lighthouse in clouds. Using the expanding rings to precisely pin-point the location of this dust, astronomers can identify places where new stars and planets are likely to form.
On 3 December 2003 ESA’s observatory, Integral, detected a burst of gamma rays, lasting about 30 seconds, from the direction of a distant galaxy. Within minutes of the detection, thanks to a sophisticated alert network, many observatories around the world were pointing their instruments at this mysterious source in the sky, named GRB 031203, in the attempt to decipher its nature. Also ESA’s X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, joined the hunt and observed the source in detail, using its on-board European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC).
Irina Bruckner | ESA
Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences