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    The new year greeted by a record-breaking gamma-ray burst

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    It has traveled for over 12 billion years and arrived on Earth at dawn on January 1, one of the longest and most powerful gamma-ray bursts ever recorded: coming from a patch of sky between the constellations of Pegasus and Andromeda, it was named Grb 220101A. Among the first instruments in the world to intercept and characterize the signal, those on board the Agile ‘made in Italy’ space telescope and those of the Asiago Observatory telescopes of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) of Padua.

    The signal was detected when in Italy it was 6:09 on Saturday morning: at an altitude of about 600 kilometers, the Burst Alert Telescope (Bat) of NASA’s Swift satellite recorded a sudden flux of very high-energy photons (in the range 15 -350 keV) long several tens of seconds, the unequivocal ‘signature’ of a gamma-ray burst, one of the most powerful phenomena in the universe. About 15 seconds later, the INAF explains in a note, the signal was also recorded by instruments aboard two other high-energy satellites: by the Large Area Telescope (Lat) of NASA’s Fermi telescope and by the Agile detectors. a small jewel for the detection of gamma rays entirely made in Italy. Active since 2007, Agile is the result of the collaboration between the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Inaf, the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn) and several Italian universities, and in the past it has already had the opportunity to observe other record-breaking gamma-ray bursts.

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    From a preliminary analysis of the data collected, it emerges that Grb 220101A is not only the first gamma-ray burst of 2022: it is also one of the most energetic ever. “It is very rare to observe such long and energetic events”, explains to Media Inaf the first author of the circular (Gcn) which reports the observation with Agile, Alessandro Ursi of INAF Iaps in Rome. “Grb 220101A has attracted great interest from the scientific community and in two days more than twenty Gcn have already been published that report observations made by space missions and astronomical observatories on the ground”.

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    Source From: Ansa

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