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Image courtesy of Simon Vaughan (University of Leicester) and ESA.
(for details, see Conditions of Use).
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About this Image
This image and animation shows GRB 032103, observed in the X-ray by
XMM-Newton's MOS cameras. On December 3rd 2003 a 30-second flash of gamma rays was detected from GRB 032103 by Integral and consequently an XMM-Newton observation of the object was performed, starting 6 hours after the burst.
The image (top figure) and animation (bottom figure) depict photons detected in the 0.7 - 2.5 keV energy range. The data were divided into time steps, and the image and animation show how the appearance of the object changes with time. The two rings seen are concentric with the X-ray afterglow, and appear to expand outwards. They are caused by dust slabs between the observer and the GRB. The dust reflects photons from the afterglow into the line of sight of the observer. They appear to expand outwards because light scattered at a larger angle to the line of sight take longer to reach the observer, hence giving the appearance of an expanding circle. In fact, the apparent rate of expansion is a thousand times the speed of light. The two rings are caused by separate dust slabs at distances of 880
and 1390 parsecs. Expanding X-ray rings from scattering by dust grains have never been seen before, although slower-moving rings around supernovae have been observed.
Investigator(s): S. Vaughan, R. Willingale, P. T. O'Brien, J. P. Osborne, J. N. Reeves, A. J. Levan, M. G. Watson, J. A. Tedds, D. Watson, M. Santos-Lleo, P.M. Rodriguez-Pascual, N. Schartel
Higher resolution versions of this image may be available, please contact the XMM-Newton HelpDesk.
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