Huang focuses on the GRB afterglow
phase, discussing the diverse features of the multiwavelength afterglows
In order to develop new plasma-chemical technologies it is important to understand the elementary processes taking place in both the active plasma and plasma afterglow
. Nitrogen, despite being a simple diatomic molecule, has quite complex plasma chemistry and kinetics, especially in mixtures with oxygen [15,16].
An energetic explosion in the cosmos has been discovered via its not-so-energetic afterglow
. Each year, astronomers observe several hundred of these explosions, known as gamma-ray bursts, but this marks the first time scientists have spotted a burst's remnant radiance before detecting the burst itself.
Lead researcher Carole Mundell, who heads the gamma-ray burst team at the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K, said that just four minutes after it received Swift's trigger, the telescope found the burst's visible afterglow
and began making thousands of measurements.
Several teams used giant optical telescopes to catch the burst's fading infrared afterglow
. The afterglow
's estimated redshift means that the burst went off 13.1 billion years ago, when the universe was only about 630 million years old.
The connection between Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) and their afterglows
is currently not well understood.
There, they strike gas previously shed by the star and heat it, which generates short-lived afterglows
in many wavelengths, including visible light.
Since 1997 we have known that they also generate bright and long-lived X-ray, optical, and radio afterglows
. In 1999 we learned that occasionally, very rare bursts generate even brighter visible light during their first few minutes.
Although gamma-ray bursts are absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, their afterglows
shine at wavelengths, ranging from visible light to radio, that can be recorded at ground level.
These jets send gamma rays our way, along with "afterglows
" at other wavelengths, which are produced when the jet heats up surrounding gas.
Their bright afterglows
continue for days, sometimes weeks, allowing groundbased telescopes to localize and identify their sources: massive, black-hole-spawning supernovae.
The Swift spacecraft, launched by NASA late last November to study gamma-ray bursts and their afterglows
, recorded the X rays on Jan.
The jets bore all the way through the collapsing star and continue into space, where they interact with gas previously shed by the star and generate bright afterglows
that fade with time.
Both Swift and HETE-2 can pinpoint the location of bursts quickly, allowing a variety of telescopes to study the fading afterglows
Gamma-ray bursts - the universe's most luminous explosions - create bright afterglows
. Their light encodes information about the gas and dust it encounters on its way to Earth.