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: Purely false. There is not one single piece of existing technology that allows us to measure anything outside of our physical reach (that you can claim to be accurate). Do you measure to cut boards with a pair of binoculars? No, we physically measure it, and can justify it as being accurate. You can see other galaxies/stars/planets/etc sure, but we can not say "fact" anything. All observations are purely speculative and the opinion of whoever is looking.
quote: At this point we can all go home and give up on logic, or we can admit things like "optics, lasers and math" are more accurate than a tape measure.
quote: now we've established a large collection of stars distance in our galaxy with accuracy.
quote: Now if you get into radio astronomy and set up arrays of telescopes all acting as one dish we have indeed resolved features of galaxies billions of lightyears away.