Gamma-Ray bursts (GRBs)

Dec. 8, 2022

Photometric observations recently taken with the 3.6 m Devasthal Optical Telescope have provided vital information on the earliest phase of a kilonova ever detected, radically changing the understanding of scientists about the origin of GRBs.


  • GRBs are powerful astronomical cosmic bursts of high-energy gamma-ray.
  • GRB emits more energy in a few seconds than our Sun will emit in its lifetime and has two distinct emission phases:
    • the short-lived prompt emission (the initial burst phase that emits gamma-rays), followed by a long-lived multi-wavelength afterglow phase.
  • The prompt emission (initial gamma-ray emission) of GRBs are automatically discovered by space-based gamma-ray missions such as NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, and India’s AstroSat.


  • In recent years, scientists have discovered a special phenomenon called a kilonova of visible and infrared light with short-period GRBs, also known as a potential source of gravitational waves.
  • It has been hypnotized that the heat produced by the radioactive decay of heavier elements may emit kilonova.
  • This process also produces heavier elements, such as gold and platinum.
  • However, observing kilonovas at near-infrared wavelengths is technically challenging, and only a few telescopes on Earth, including the 3.6-meter Devasthal Optical Telescope of the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), can detect kilonova and gravitational wave objects at these wavelengths upto faint limits.


Source : PIB