Those blasts, known as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), seem to come from a black hole that is developing slowly after two stars merged.
According to NewScientist, gamma-ray bursts come in two categories: short GRBs and gamma-ray explosions: short GRBs and long GRBs.
The short GRBs last under two seconds and tend to occur when two neutron stars smash and fall into a black hole. Long GRBs can last two minutes and are linked to supernovas, powerful and luminous star explosions.
However, when GRB 211211A was seen in 2021, it didn’t fit that criterion.
The New Scientist reported that four research groups observed the GRB, and they all witnessed the same thing - two stars colliding but only for 60 seconds.
“Two seconds is how long it takes in a merger for a black hole to form and eat up everything in its environment, so it’s very strange that this lasted a whole minute,” said Benjamin Gompertz, a professor of gravitational wave astronomy at the University of Birmingham.
One of the research teams believes that the merger could have left a neutron star called a magnetar, which could be catapulting the gamma-ray emission following the collision.