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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 and, 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 SPOOFE on 7/19/2010 5:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
In other words, this is what you just said: "How dare you ask questions about science".

And this sentence reveals your true motivations: You have a persecution complex. Nobody has said "How dare you" do anything. Everyone has pointed out how and why you're wrong. The fact that you interpret a "How dare you" out of excellent retorts to your quarter-baked notions shows that you have some sort of mental problem.

I thought the whole point of science was to QUESTION THINGS.

Yeah, but you're an idiot so you would think that. The whole point of science is to HAVE A GOOD REASON to question things. You, on the other hand, have reasons which completely lack basis. You might as well be saying, "How do we know the universe isn't full of magic?"

This is NOT a religion vs science debate.

Of course not; this is a debate of informed and educated people vs. you, an uninformed and willfully ignorant clown.

RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 7:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
It's blatantly obvious that you don't know how to conduct yourself in a adult discussion. You may not value respect, but I do.

I'm not going to bother replying unless you can post in a respectful manner; otherwise I will break one of the un-written rules of the internet. :) have a nice day.

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