On Sunday, October 9, 2022, a pulse of intense radiation swept through the Solar System so exceptional that astronomers quickly dubbed it the BOAT – the brightest of all time. After spending months combing through the data, astronomers now better understand its scientific impact. The source was a Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB), the most powerful class of explosions in the Universe. The burst triggered detectors on numerous spacecraft and immediately observatories around the globe followed up. The burst was so bright that it effectively blinded most gamma-ray instruments in space, which means they could not directly record the real intensity of the emission. US scientists were able to reconstruct this information from Fermi data. They then compared the results with those from the Russian team working on Konus data, as well as Chinese teams analyzing observations from their SATech-01 satellite and Insight-HXMT observatory. After combing through all of this data, astronomers can now characterize just how bright it was and better understand its scientific impact. Together, they showed that the burst was 70 times brighter than any yet seen.
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