Scientists have compiled a detailed list of galaxies that emit intense, mysterious bursts known as short gamma-ray bursts, or SGRBs. A new study has found that many more explosions came from the distant universe when it was much younger than we previously thought. The galaxies that emit them are obviously young and in the process of forming stars, reports Independent.
The researchers also found that many of the SGRBs extend far beyond their host galaxies, but they still have no answer as to how the gamma-ray bursts were able to travel so far from their host galaxies.
The new results come from the largest-ever catalog of such supernova galaxies, with 84 in total. Scientists hope it will allow them to better understand the still-mysterious explosions of energy that occur when two neutron stars collide.
Previously, scientists believed that SGRB galaxies were mostly old and nearing their death. However, the new study found that about 85% of them are young, suggesting that neutron stars can form in a wide range of different environments.
The catalog should also serve as a reference for a better understanding of the unified system of neutron stars formed in galaxies.
“The catalog can really make impacts beyond just a single class of transients like sGRBs,” said co-author Yuxin “Vic” Dong, an astronomy PhD student at Northwestern University, in a statement. “With the wealth of data and results presented in the catalog, I believe a variety of research projects will make use of it, maybe even in ways we have yet not thought of.”
Scientists also hope to find even more galaxies with SGRBs using the James Webb Space Telescope.