Science and Nature

TESS Detects Shimmering, Lengthy-Lasting Gamma-Ray Burst

Astronomers the utilization of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Idea Satellite tv for computer (TESS) exoplanet-hunting mission comprise detected the rising and decaying optical afterglow of the gamma-ray burst match GRB 191016A.

An artist’s impression of a blazar. Image credit: DESY / Science Communication Lab.

An artist’s affect of a blazar. Portray credit: DESY / Science Conversation Lab.

GRB 191016A took place on October 16, 2019, in a previously uncataloged galaxy within the northern constellation of Aries.

The gamma-ray burst became once first detected by the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) onboard NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory.

The burst took place too discontinuance to the Moon for Swift to soundly slew to its location, battling notice-up observations.

TESS clearly detected the rising pre-height light curve of GRB 191016A.

“Our findings yelp this TESS telescope is invaluable now not only for locating sleek planets, nonetheless moreover for excessive-vitality astrophysics,” said Dr. Krista Lynne Smith, an astrophysicist within the Division of Physics at Southern Methodist College and Stanford College.

TESS full-frame image in the cadence just before the BAT trigger (left) and at the peak flux of the GRB 191016A burst (center); the emergence of the afterglow is apparent in the center of the image, indicated by the white arrow; the right panel shows the same region of the sky, with a slightly different orientation, in the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS); a small inset of TESS image is provided in the bottom left corner to demonstrate the change in orientation. Image credit: Smith et al., doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/abe6a2.

TESS paunchy-physique image within the cadence honest earlier than the BAT location off (left) and on the height flux of the GRB 191016A burst (center); the emergence of the afterglow is obvious within the heart of the image, indicated by the white arrow; the unswerving panel exhibits the same build of the sky, with a pretty assorted orientation, within the Digitized Sky Idea (DSS); a minute inset of TESS image is equipped within the bottom left nook to indicate the alternate in orientation. Portray credit: Smith et al., doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/abe6a2.

Dr. Smith and colleagues calculated that GRB 191016A had a height magnitude of 15.1, meaning it became once 10,000 times fainter than the faintest stars we can look for with the bare eyes.

Most gamma ray bursts are dimmer — nearer to 160,000 times fainter than the faintest stars.

It’s estimated that light from the burst’s host galaxy had been traveling 11.7 billion years earlier than changing into visible by TESS.

GRB 191016A reached its height brightness sometime between 1,000 and 2,600 seconds, then extinct gradually unless it fell below the ability of TESS to detect it some 7,000 seconds after it first went off.

“Because the burst reached its height brightness later and had a height brightness that became once elevated than most bursts, it allowed the TESS telescope to carry out a pair of observations earlier than the burst extinct below the telescope’s detection limit,” Dr. Smith said.

“We’ve equipped the finest home-essentially based completely optical notice-up on this outstanding burst.”

The results had been published within the Astrophysical Journal.


Krista Lynne Smith et al. 2021. GRB 191016A: A Lengthy Gamma-Ray Burst Detected by TESS. ApJ 911, 43; doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/abe6a2

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