HomeAstronomyGamma-ray burst of the century surprised spacecraft operators

Gamma-ray burst of the century surprised spacecraft operators

A fleet of space telescopes unexpectedly detected the record-breaking gamma-ray burst GRB221009A onOct.9, sparking concern among spacecraft operators about the blast’s odd signal. 

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia galaxy mapper sent a strange reading to its controllers on early afternoon, Oct. 9, showing a surprising amount of high-energy particles hitting the spacecraft’s detectors. The engineers were puzzled for a while, ESA said in a statement (opens in new tab), but eventually realized that the spacecraft, built to measure precise positions of stars in our galaxy, detected the powerful gamma-ray burst GRB221009A which flashed at Earth from a distant world over 2 billion light-years away. 

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