There is no higher energy form in the universe than gamma-rays. They come from extreme events happening in distant galaxies like suns exploding, collisions of extremely dense neutron stars, black holes swallowing immense amounts of matter, and more. A telescope specially designed to observe gamma-rays can show how they can glow brighter than any other light in the sky, outshining them.
A strange phenomenon that can even take scientists by surprise is gamma-rays wandering into the Earth’s atmosphere. These are a special kind of gamma-rays, as they come from the interactions of electrons traveling almost at the speed of light. These connections happen within giant thunderclouds. Experts are not entirely sure how this phenomenon occurs, as the bizarre burst of energy only lasts about one millisecond, being extremely hard to locate and analyze in-depth.
The First-Ever Image Of A Terrestrial Gamma-Rays Burst Obtained By Scientists
A full year has passed since scientists started to observe the Earth from outer-space. During this time, they managed to gather significant amounts of essential data, which they used to build the first-ever image of a terrestrial gamma-ray flash. The burst took place on June 18, 2018, during a thunderstorm over the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. You can see the revolutionary picture below.
The storm was observed by scientists using a particular type of observatory, located within the International Space Station. It was launched in April 2018, and its primary goal is to monitor all of the gamma-rays burst events happening over the entire surface of Earth.
According to a statement made by representatives of the European Space Agency (ESA), during its one year of activity, the observatory gathered data on more than 200 such events, managing to find the pinpoint the exact location of 30 of them. This gives scientists the possibility to compare the data with other satellites or even local weather stations to achieve a bigger perspective over the forces involved in the bursts of energy in the form of gamma-rays.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.