A new observational window in extragalactic gamma-ray astronomy 🎉

Today is a very exciting day for extragalactic gamma-ray astronomy!

The H.E.S.S. and MAGIC Collaborations have detected VHE gamma rays from Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) for the first time. This of course has tremendous consequences, because this means that such detections are possible even at extreme energies, and so we might expect many more in the near future.

In addition, what H.E.S.S. is teaching everybody with this publication, is that one can detect a GRB emission even ten hours after the GRB alert has been given. This is very important, and gives the message to all ground-based Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes that, one can observe a GRB even hours after the alert, when darkness comes and atmospheric conditions are favourable. Hence, it is not strictly necessary to observe seconds or minutes after the alert is given, if the observing conditions are not met. Observing hours after the alert will carry important information about the development of the GRB VHE gamma ray emission over time.

The results published in Nature are also an excellent perspective for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) and for our ALTO/COMET project as a new observational window in extragalactic gamma-ray astronomy has been opened.

Read the Nature papers here:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03503-6

Direct link to the H.E.S.S. paper:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1743-9

Popular science articles in Swedish:

https://fof.se/artikel/rekordenergi-fran-kosmisk-explosion-uppmatt