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NASA's Swift Observatory  (Source: NASA)
Gamma burst reported as most powerful on record.

NASA scientists have identified a violent cosmic eruption that temporarily blinded a NASA satellite in June.  An X-ray telescope that tracks gamma rays on board the NASA Swift satellite captured a record-breaking burst of rays that had left scientists mystified about its massive brightness and point of origin.  

At it's peak the gamma-ray explosion – documented as the most powerful emission on record -- produced between 143,000 and 145,000 X-ray protons per second, which is about 10 to 15 times brighter than previous bursts captured by the telescope.   

After weeks of analysis, researchers are now indicating that the astounding blast was produced by a massive star collapsing into a black hole.  

According to 
Astronomy.com and Space.com, although the Swift satellite was designed specifically to study gamma-ray bursts, the instrument was not designed to handle an X-ray blast this bright.

"The intensity of these X-rays was unexpected and unprecedented," said Neil Gehrels from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He said the burst, named GRB 100621A, is the brightest X-ray source that Swift has detected since the observatory began X-ray observation in early 2005. "Just when we were beginning to think that we had seen everything that gamma-ray bursts could throw at us, this burst came along to challenge our assumptions about how powerful their X-ray emissions can be.”

The event was so powerful, it disrupted the telescope's data-analysis capabilities.

"The burst was so bright when it first erupted that our data-analysis software shut down," said Phil Evans from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. "So many photons were bombarding the detector each second that it just couldn't count them quickly enough. It was like trying to use a rain gauge and a bucket to measure the flow rate of a tsunami."

The X-rays had been traveling for over 5 billion years before being detected by the Swift satellite.

The burst lasted for about one minute and was about 200 times brighter than the Crab Nebula, an X-ray radiation benchmark for astronomers. 

The X-ray blast is the brightest ever detected from outside of the Milky Way galaxy. 



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RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 10:50:41 AM , Rating: 1
I suggest you check your spelling and grammar then.


RE: Didn't we just...
By PCR on 7/19/2010 10:51:26 AM , Rating: 1
That has nothing to do with education or knowledge of science Yeah my typing sucks, so what? That means nothing and has nothing to do with science.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 10:58:29 AM , Rating: 2
It was more in response to your last sentence talking about how you are biased against uneducated and dumb people. It was a bit hard to understand what you were saying at certain points because of some obvious errors in your post.


RE: Didn't we just...
By DamonZ on 7/19/2010 12:11:31 PM , Rating: 3
And I go back to the statements made merely questioning the assumptions. The person asked for polite responses, and was just making the comment that it has been proven light can be slowed, how do we know it isn't happening at the edge of our galaxy, or anywhere else along the way?

I don't believe in creationism, and will probably never be convinced otherwise, but a lot of things don't have good answers.

Try to treat the comment as intended, as a discussion. Don't be a jerk if you don't agree, try to prove to us you are worth talking to.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 12:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for helping me try to clarify my question, I appreciate it.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 4:33:26 PM , Rating: 1
Heaven forbid I make a comment. I found it ironic, that was all. Lighten up.


RE: Didn't we just...
By niva on 7/19/2010 4:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
It does make you look uneducated and dumb though when you can't string a proper sentence together while complaining about those very things. You should know by now that arguing against creationism if foolish. Just lay down your evidence and the ones with working brains will convert. The ones who vocally argue are hopeless and you're simply coming down to their level when you engage back in an argument.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Sazar on 7/19/2010 5:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I just had to interject.

If you are going to say some things make someone look uneducated and dumb, you might want to check what you have posted before doing so. :)

Other than that, agree with you

"You should know by now that arguing against creationism if foolish"


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 8:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You should know by now that arguing against creationism if foolish. Just lay down your evidence and the ones with working brains will convert. The ones who vocally argue are hopeless and you're simply coming down to their level when you engage back in an argument.

I offer my up-most sincere apology to the omnipotent and unfaltering niva; I did not realize that I was speaking to the most hyper intelligent being on this planet. Your opinion is clearly superior to our feeble minded species, and I hope you can forgive us for intruding upon your greatness.


"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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