If correct, the find would be one of the earliest known signs of supernova-produced dust in the universe, and the earliest dust detected thanks to a gamma-ray
"One class of gamma-ray
sources is needed to explain the fluctuations at low energies (below 1 GeV) and another type to generate the fluctuations at higher energy 6 the signatures of these two contributions is markedly different," the University of Amsterdam said in the statement.
Several members of the other team, which observed Cygnus X-3 with the Fermi Gamma-ray
Space Telescope, declined to comment on their work before its publication in Science.
Before Fermi was launched, astronomers had expected to find a lot more gamma-ray
binaries than they did.
The brightest persistent source in the gamma-ray
sky is the Vela pulsar, which is about 1,000 light-years away.
Up until now, it was thought all gamma-ray
bursts were followed by a radio afterglow - a premise that a team of Australian astronomers of the Centre for All-sky Astrophysics (CSTRO) at Curtin University and the University of Sydney originally set out to prove correct.
When a high-energy gamma-ray
hits or skims by something, it can decay into a particle-antiparticle pair.
Telescopes including the Fermi Gamma-ray
Space Telescope, launched in 2008, and VERITAS, an array of four 12-meter telescopes atop Mount Hopkins in Arizona, have detected gamma rays from three galaxies undergoing intense waves of star birth.
It may even be possible to find other gravitational lenses with data from the Fermi Gamma-ray
Observations of a short gamma-ray
burst (GRB) has provided evidence that it resulted from the collision of two neutron stars - the dead cores of stars that previously exploded as supernovae.