scientists have identified a violent cosmic eruption that temporarily
blinded a NASA satellite in June. An X-ray telescope
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.
quote: I'm sorry but that's bullcrap. If you're talking technology we got extremely accurate measurements of the distance to the moon before anything landed there thanks to radar, and even laser ranging.
quote: These things are within our physical reach TODAY, but as I mentioned we got our measurements BEFORE we were able to reach them
quote: I don't understand where you get this crazy idea that scientists claim to know everything for certain. That's not at all how science works!
quote: Seems to me like you're the idiot if you can't even express what you're trying to say.