The most powerful space explosion ever seen keeps baffling astronomers

GRB 221009A surrounded by dust rings

GRB221009A surrounded by dust rings

ESA/XMM-Newton/M. Rigoselli (INAF)

The most powerful explosion ever seen may break our understanding of how these cosmic cataclysms, called long gamma ray bursts (GRBs), work. The burst was spotted in October 2022, and it is proving difficult to explain despite continued observations and analyses by researchers around the world.

When the burst, called GRB221009A, was spotted, astronomers dubbed it “the BOAT” – the brightest of all time. Eric Burns at Louisiana State University and his colleagues compared it with other GRBs and found that events this bright probably only …

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