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Giant Flash After Star Blast

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posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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This is interesting. Sci-Fi fans try and find an answer to this one.The blast occured on the surface of a star so presumably the star still exists otherwise the story would be that the star exploded. So the blast must be directional. A weapon ?

Any ideas? Anyone ?


Astronomers say they have been stunned by the amount of energy released in a star explosion on the far side of our galaxy, 50,000 light-years away.

The flash of radiation on 27 December was so powerful that it bounced off the Moon and lit up the Earth's atmosphere.

The blast occurred on the surface of an exotic kind of star - a super-magnetic neutron star called SGR 1806-20.

If the explosion had been just 10,000 light-years away, Earth could have suffered a mass extinction, it is said.

news.bbc.co.uk...

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


[edit on 18-2-2005 by John bull 1]




posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 03:42 PM
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burned to death?!??!?!

my goodness, that is unbelievable! i doubt et's are involved, unless of course they are prone to harvesting such emense amounts of energy then of course by all means it was the et's. otherwise i think we just have a cranky star on our hands.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by John bull 1
A weapon ?


Fascinating, John Bull. I do not know if anyone ever considered using a magnetar as a weapon in science fiction. Anybody else know?

An advanced culture could identify worlds suitable for colonization using SETI and VLBI. It could then perturb the direction of polar spin of a handy magnetar to bring the candidate world under the beam and drop some mass on the magnetar. After sterilization, the planet could be colonized.

Ye Gods, a Death Ray with a 10,000 light year reach. Galactic empire. What did we get, 1/8 of a L/d 100? Which side of the planet got hit?

Another good reason to not beam I Love Lucy into the cosmos. Alas, too late.

Your idea was as refreshing as a copy of Astounding Stories. Thanks.

Just got this in my email box:

Headquarters, Washington Feb. 18, 2005

RELEASE: 05-051

NASA OBSERVES ONE OF BRIGHTEST COSMIC EXPLOSIONS

Scientists detected a flash of light from across the Galaxy so powerful; it bounced off the moon and lit up the Earth's upper atmosphere. The flash was brighter than anything ever detected from beyond our Solar System, and it lasted over a tenth of a second.

NASA and European satellites and many radio telescopes detected the flash and its aftermath on December 27, 2004. Two science teams are reporting about this event at a special press conference today at 2 p.m. EST at NASA Headquarters, Washington.

NASA's Swift satellite and the National Science Foundation-funded Very Large Array (VLA) were two of many observatories that observed the event arising from neutron star SGR 1806-20. It is a unique neutron star called a magnetar, about 50,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius.

The apparent magnitude was brighter than a full moon and all historical star explosions. The light was brightest in the gamma-ray energy range, far more energetic than visible light or X-rays and invisible to our eyes.

"This might be an once-in-a-lifetime event for astronomers, as well as for the neutron star," said Dr. David Palmer of Los Alamos National Laboratory, N.M. He is lead author on a paper describing the Swift observation. "We know of only two other giant flares in the past 35 years, and the December event was 100 times more powerful," he added.

Dr. Bryan Gaensler of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., is lead author on a report describing the VLA observation, which tracked the ejected material as it flew out into interstellar space.

Other key scientific teams are associated with radio telescopes in Australia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, India and the United States, as well as with NASA's High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI).

Neutron stars form from collapsed stars. They are dense, fast-spinning, highly magnetic, and only about 15 miles in diameter. Only about 12 magnetars are known among the millions of regular neutron stars in our Galaxy and neighboring galaxies.

SGR 1806-20 is also a soft gamma repeater (SGR) because it randomly flares and releases gamma rays. Only four SGRs are known. The giant flare on SGR 1806-20 was millions to billions of times more powerful than typical SGR flares. For a tenth of a second, the giant flare unleashed more energy than the sun emits in 150,000 years. Magnetic fields around magnetars are responsible for SGR outbursts, but the details remain unclear.

"The next biggest flare ever seen from any soft gamma repeater was peanuts compared to this incredible December 27 event," Gaensler said. "Had this happened within 10 light years of us, it would have severely damaged our atmosphere. Fortunately, all the magnetars we know of are much farther away than this," he added.

During the 1980s scientists wondered whether gamma-ray bursts were star explosions from beyond our Galaxy or eruptions on nearby neutron stars. By the late 1990s it became clear gamma-ray bursts did indeed originate far away. But the extraordinary giant flare on SGR 1806-20 reopens the debate, according to Dr. Chryssa Kouveliotou of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., who coordinated multiwavelength follow-up observations. A small percentage of short gamma-ray bursts, less than two seconds, could be from SGR flares.

"An answer to the short gamma-ray burst mystery could come any day now that Swift is in orbit", said Swift lead scientist Neil Gehrels.

Scientists around the world have been following the December 27 event. RHESSI detected gamma rays and X-rays from the flare. Drs. Kevin Hurley and Steven Boggs of the University of California, Berkeley, are leading the effort to analyze these data.

For more information about the event on the Internet, visit:

www.nasa.gov...


-end-


(note the 10 ly lethal zone)

[edit on 18-2-2005 by Chakotay]



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 05:33 PM
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got me dont think it was a weapon if it was a device would have to be fired into the star and make emit the energy in the desired location at least as my theroy goes but I think as stated above a cranky star intresting no doubt but I am baffled



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 05:53 PM
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The energy is direct by the star's magnetic fields. That's all, not a weapon, sorry. Magnetars are just highly magnetic pulsars, which are just neutron stars that are rotating in such a way that the beam of radiation hits the Earth as it rotates. The pulsars' energy beams are focused through thier magnetic fields, just as this explosion was.

To listen to the sounds of a pulsar go to www.spacesounds.com...

EDIT: I left out a helpful analogy... A pulsar is like a lighthouse. The beam is always on, but since it rotates we don't always see it.

[edit on 2/18/2005 by cmdrkeenkid]



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by John bull 1
This is interesting. Sci-Fi fans try and find an answer to this one.The blast occured on the surface of a star so presumably the star still exists otherwise the story would be that the star exploded. So the blast must be directional. A weapon ?

Any ideas? Anyone ?


Astronomers say they have been stunned by the amount of energy released in a star explosion on the far side of our galaxy, 50,000 light-years away.

The flash of radiation on 27 December was so powerful that it bounced off the Moon and lit up the Earth's atmosphere.

The blast occurred on the surface of an exotic kind of star - a super-magnetic neutron star called SGR 1806-20.

If the explosion had been just 10,000 light-years away, Earth could have suffered a mass extinction, it is said.

news.bbc.co.uk...

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


[edit on 18-2-2005 by John bull 1]


The original article says that it would have to be within 10 LY, not 10,000, to cause a mass extinction.

"Had this happened within 10 light-years of us, it would have severely damaged our atmosphere and would possibly have triggered a mass extinction," said Dr Bryan Gaensler, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who is the lead author on one of the forthcoming Nature papers."



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 05:58 PM
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This phenomenon could explain the SETI silence. There could be immense dead zones around these types of stars.

[edit on 18-2-2005 by Chakotay]



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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Question for the astronomers. I was reading a website the other day about mapping comet's orbits and they talked about some that were too faint to observe at 1.8-2AU. If that's true, how can we 'see' a star that's only 20km diameter 50,000 light years away? I also thought we could only detect stars up to 9,000 light years away, giving us an 18,000 light year wide 'visible' universe?



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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Key word you used yourself: visible. In higher and lower frequencies of light we can see A LOT more and A LOT farther.

Think of it this way... Comets give off next to nothing of thier own, save a trail of very sparse gasses. They're only really visible in the visible spectrum. Neutron stars give off lots of radiation, in lots of frequencies. Pulsars and Megnetars even more so.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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Thanks. One more, how can we accurately tell what size it is?

Oops, another... in the article about the neutron star it mentioned gamma radiation may be higher than normal for up to a year. Any danger to us?



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 06:25 PM
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Originally posted by Chakotay
This phenomenon could explain the SETI silence. There could be immense dead zones around these types of stars.

[edit on 18-2-2005 by Chakotay]


Do you mean dead as in they could destroy any life on planets surrounding them? That's a scary thought for any civilization, advanced or otherwise...



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
Thanks. One more, how can we accurately tell what size it is?


Well we can tell how far away it is by the object's parallax. We can also find its angular size. Then the tricky part of math is using the eqauion of [Angular size in degrees = (size * 57.29) / distance] or another variation to make the math easier.



Oops, another... in the article about the neutron star it mentioned gamma radiation may be higher than normal for up to a year. Any danger to us?


Probably more danger from using a cellphone, even if you're using a headset. (The headset really makes next to no difference in the amount of radiation going to your head.
)



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 06:44 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid

Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
Thanks. One more, how can we accurately tell what size it is?


Well we can tell how far away it is by the object's parallax. We can also find its angular size. Then the tricky part of math is using the eqauion of [Angular size in degrees = (size * 57.29) / distance] or another variation to make the math easier.


errr... ok, sure... I'll check out that link, thanks.




Oops, another... in the article about the neutron star it mentioned gamma radiation may be higher than normal for up to a year. Any danger to us?




Probably more danger from using a cellphone, even if you're using a headset. (The headset really makes next to no difference in the amount of radiation going to your head.
)


Do they have a way to monitor it, or calculate it?

Thanks for your help, used to love playing Commander Keen!



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
Do they have a way to monitor it, or calculate it?

Thanks for your help, used to love playing Commander Keen!


There probably is, but I don't know of any offhand. I'll do some searching around though.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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Radiation for radio waves (which includes cellular phones) are much much
longer then Gamma rays. Cellular Phones exits in the 10 - 30 cm ranges
Gamma rays exist in the thousands of a nanometer range. Big Big difference.
Exposure to Gamma rays in even moderate doses is lethal.

I've been around transmitting radio equipment for over 20 years as an Amateur
Radio operator to no ill effect. I only glow slightly at night


[edit on 18-2-2005 by TheHorseChestnut]



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 11:05 PM
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Thanks for backing me up TheHorseChestnut. If the higher gamma ray radiation was enough to cause a problem, we'd all be dead by now.

A quick aside... To see how much cosmic radiation you're recieving, get a geiger (spelling there?) counter and just switch it to on. Of course, you have to be a fair distance from anything that is actually radioactive (depending on sensativity). Almost every random click that it registers is some form of random cosmic radiation.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 11:14 PM
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The article mentioned in the first post mentions a 'star quake' ...a rearrangment of it's structure. Maybe it further collapsed, or something of similar density crashed into it??

The article also mentioned that it was more gamma rays that were detected rather than visible light.



posted on Feb, 19 2005 @ 12:10 AM
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This did happen 50.000 years ago, however the effect of this type of blast must be terrable.

In my est. nothing closer then 200 lightyears away will not surfive it. In easy terms, solarsystems that are nearby to this magnetic star are ded stars.


E_T

posted on Feb, 19 2005 @ 01:21 AM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
Think of it this way... Comets give off next to nothing of thier own, save a trail of very sparse gasses.
And in outer solar system light source is much farther and they show only because they reflect solar radiation.


Originally posted by frayed1
The article mentioned in the first post mentions a 'star quake' ...a rearrangment of it's structure.

The article also mentioned that it was more gamma rays that were detected rather than visible light.
Those quakes are caused by extremely strong magnetic field, when magnetic field lines go to knot they have enough power to crack surface. And in case of neutron star density of "atmosphere" is like steel plate, not even talking about "crust" under that.



And about distribution of radiation to different wavelengths.
That's determined by energy (/and heat) involved in "reaction" sending that radiation. And when involved energy increases peak wavelength of radiation moves to higher frequency/shorter wavelength.



posted on Feb, 19 2005 @ 07:09 AM
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Just to add something I heard on Euronews.

They also said that the radiation was strong enough to bend slightly the Earth's ionosphere.



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