Chinese scientists reveal the energy of the brightest gamma-ray burst ever observed

On October 9, 2022, the brightest gamma-ray burst (GRB) on record was recorded. Its energy was many times greater than all previously observed phenomena of this type. Shortly after, NASA announced that the flare’s energy had reached 18 TeV (tera electron volts). Chinese scientists disagreed. New research proves historical GRB performance was 13 TeV.

Due to its extraordinary brightness, the gamma-ray spot GRB 221009A was given the personal name BOAT . This event was so energetic that all spatial sensors were blinded. All of the telescopes, with the exception of the China Orbital Gamma-ray Telescope, were undergoing maintenance at the time and were operating at significantly reduced sensitivity. However, data from Chinese satellites made it possible to estimate an upper limit on the flare energy, which turned out to be lower than reconstructed data from NASA spacecraft. The new study uses data from the ground-based Large Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO), which monitors cosmic rays, including gamma rays. LHAASO measurements show that the BOAT event was accompanied by an energy release of 13 TeV, which the scientists reported in an article in the journal Science Advances. According to modern theory, this energy could be released by a star about 20 times larger than the Sun collapsing into a black hole.