backtop


Print 94 comment(s) - last by Josett.. on Jul 20 at 11:19 PM


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. 



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 12:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd much rather debate the science behind this gamma ray burst and possible origins of it

I guess that it becomes an artform when trying to wade through the different threads below the articles, and I wish DT would improve the comment system so that we could seperate such discussions. I come to this website mainly because of the conversations, they often lead to much more informed opinions, and possibly opinions of the experts (granted that everything on the internet should be taken with a grain of salt)

quote:
I'd much rather debate ... than sit around and debate creationism with people who will never, ever step out of their trench to see what is in the other.

Isn't it fair to say the same thing about "entrenched" evolutionists? I grew up in the public school system where nothing but evolution was taught. I have since then be exposed more to that theory than I EVER have been with intelligent design. In fact, I had never heard of the phrase "intelligent design" until a few years back.

I don't think it's fair to accuse anyone of not looking at all available sides; if that is in fact what you are saying.


RE: Didn't we just...
By MrBlastman on 7/19/2010 3:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Isn't it fair to say the same thing about "entrenched" evolutionists? I grew up in the public school system where nothing but evolution was taught. I have since then be exposed more to that theory than I EVER have been with intelligent design. In fact, I had never heard of the phrase "intelligent design" until a few years back.


My statement included religious people, evolutionists and abiogenesists (don't confuse the two please, they are grossly different). Everyone is entrenched in their own views and trying to debate them serves nothing other than to inflame this place unless the topic itself suggests it be brought up.

I'm an equal opportunity call-to-trucer here. :)

That is all I'm saying. I'm not going to get dragged further into this argument. Lets talk about gamma-ray bursts. :)


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 4:11:34 PM , Rating: 1
I wish everyone here could show the same respect as you do when posting replies. The wording you chose could have been somewhat misleading as to who exactly you were talking about. But hey, at least I asked this time instead of assuming that I was the only one under the microscope.

As for gamma-ray bursts, I admittedly have nothing to say lol; so I'll leave that discussion to everyone else.


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki