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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 Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 8:59:28 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The problem is you're making a relativistic set of illogical arguments under the guise of Philosophy and pseudo-intellectual posturing. While discourse is a fun way to explore Existentialism, this has become foolish.

Who do you think you are talking to?! Using complex words in a sentence doesn't give it more meaning or actually add to this discussion. Those two sentences made you look like you are trying way too hard.
quote:
Your stated purpose and discourse only have merit if you were actively pursuing your answers in a practical, scientific manner.

So, what you are saying is it's wrong to post a simple, logical question in science? I don't know how you define science, but I can ask a simple question to my hearts desire. I don't have to launch satellites into orbit every time I want to know a simple answer to a simple question. Just because you can't understand the question doesn't mean you should bash me. In effect, you make yourself look like an idiot when running off at the mouth and trying to "prove" your intellect.

Look, it's someone on the internet with an agenda to make someone look stupid rather than add to the discussion, wow; never seen that one before! Your name is very fitting.
quote:
The conditions for the slowing of light only exists in specific laboratory conditions

There is absolutely no way you can know that AT ALL; You have no idea what can happen outside of our realm, and you are arrogant and foolish to say otherwise. Unless you literally know it all. Then by all means, please enlighten us.

Btw, I seriously doubt you talk like this in every day life. So stop trying so hard, it makes you look very desperate; And if you aren't going to contribute respectfully to the discussions, then please butt out. There is no room for your complete arrogant ass-hat attitude.


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