Fermi LAT Collaboration/DOE/NASA
Guest post by Gabriel Popkin
High-energy light particles from one of the brightest gamma-ray burst observed to date suggest that physicists need to revise their theories explaining the origin of these cosmic blasts.
Gamma-ray bursts are the brightest events known to occur in the universe. Most scientists believe the high-energy bursts happen when gigantic stars explode as supernovas. The explosions send out shock waves that speed up nearby matter, causing a type of radiation called synchrotron radiation.
But observations of the gamma-ray burst GRB 130427A, which lasted 20 hours starting on April 27, 2013, revealed high-energy light particles too powerful to be produced by shock waves speeding up matter, scientists report November 21 in Science Express.