National Geographic Article About the Brightest Gamma-ray Burst of all Time

On 10/9/22, the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) detected the brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen. National Geographic interviewed GBM graduate student Stephen Lesage (UAH), who was on GBM burst advocate duty when the burst occurred, GBM team member Eric Burns (LSU), and GBM Principal Investigator Colleen Wilson-Hodge (ST12). In the article, the event is referred to as a "once-in-a-civilization event."

The Fermi GBM was the first instrument to detect the event. Wilson-Hughes (ST12), Fermi GBM Principal Investigator, explained that researchers didn't notice right away due to a fluke with NASA's communication satellites. Then it was picked up by the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. Marshall's Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) studied how x-ray light ounces off surrounding dust. The Webb Space Telescope (whose mirrors were tested at Marshall) spotted evidence of a supernova glow in April.  Eventually, more than 160 telescopes would be involved in observing the event. The article discusses Lesage's reaction to the Fermi alerts he received and the coordinated follow-up searches led by Fermi team member Burns who is quoted as saying "It's the brightest one ever seen, almost by a factor of 70."

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Fermi GBM brightest gamma ray burst
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