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VOLUME 116 | ISSUE 11 | PAGE 745
Parameters of axion-like particles required to explain high-energy photons from GRB 221009A
Recent astrophysical transient Swift J1913.1+1946 is possibly associated with the gamma-ray burst GRB 221009A at the redshift z\approx 0.151. The transient was accompanied by very high-energy gamma rays up to 18 TeV observed by LHAASO and a photon-like air shower of 251 TeV detected by Carpet-2. These energetic gamma rays cannot reach us from the claimed distance of the source because of the pair production on cosmic background radiation. If the identification and redshift measurements are correct, one would require new physics to explain the data. One possibility invokes axion-like particles (ALPs) which mix with photons but do not attenuate on the background radiation. Here we explore the ALP parameter space and find that the ALP-photon mixing in the Milky Way, and not in the intergalactic space, may help to explain the observations. However, given the low Galactic latitude of the event, misidentification with a Galactic transient remains an undiscarded explanation.