A study by Indian scientists claims that the behaviour of the highest energy afterglow of a Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) may help to explore how stars evolve.
A group of scientists including Dr Kuntal Misra from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), in Uttarakhand state, studied the optical observations of the afterglow from a galaxy 4.5 billion light years away, and emission from a GRB which revealed that the high energy photons (TeV Photons) were rebel and complex in nature.
The research paper which has been published in the ‘Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society’ (MNRAS) stated the detection of TeV Photons from GRB provides new insights and important clues to unravel the underlying physical processes at work which result in such explosions.
Detailed modelling of the afterglow using multi-band data indicates that the parameters describing the fraction of energy in electron population and magnetic fields are evolving with time and not constant - as generally seen in GRBs. The scientists suggested that the evolution of these parameters, at early times, may play a role in producing the bright TeV emission.
The GRB with ultra-high energy photons called GRB 190114C was detected for the first time on 14 January 2019. However, the GRB lasted for a brief period, followed by an initial bright flash in high energies known as the ‘prompt emission’. A less luminous but long-lasting counterpart known as the ‘afterglow’ was detected after the prompt emission and offered scientists the chance to probe the GRBs.