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NASA Detects 'Totally New' Mystery Explosion Nearby

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posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 09:20 AM

Robert Roy Britt

Astronomers have detected a new type of cosmic outburst that they can't yet explain. The event was very close to our galaxy, they said.

The eruption might portend an even brighter event to come, a Supernova!

It was spotted by
NASA's Swift telescope and is being monitored by other telescopes around the world as scientists wait to see what will happen.

Neil Gehrels, principal investigator for the Swift mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, called the event "totally new, totally unexpected."

If the eruption indeed precedes a supernova, then it would reach peak brightness in about a week, scientists said.

The event, detected Feb. 18, looks something like a gamma-ray burst (GRB), scientists said. But it is much closer—about 440 million light-years away—than others. And it lasted about 33 minutes. Most GRBs are billions of light-years away and last less than a second or just a few seconds.

Related Links:
Space - Brightest Galactic Flash Ever Detected Hits Earth

Perfect Timing I must say.

If it Truly is a Supernova, it was sad, that it should be seen in a Week.

It was said, that a Supernova was seen in the sky as Jesus was Born.

Maybe we shall see the Rise of a New Prophet next week then!

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 09:43 AM
I saw this story today. I am definately going to setup my telescope to see if I can catch it! Good find!

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 09:48 AM
Telescope time!

Thanks for that interesting find.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:01 AM
Thanks Guys!

You think that, if this is indeed a Supernova, it would be probably visible without any Telescope on a Nightly sky?

From the Article:

NASA Detects 'Totally New' Mystery Explosion Nearby

Italian researchers using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile found signs in the event's optical afterglow that it may become a supernova. The scenario outlined by some researchers is that a very massive star has collapsed into a black hole and then exploded.

If the event is indeed a supernova in the making, scientists may get the first look at one unfolding from start to finish.

For Astronomers:
Experienced backyard astronomers can see the explosion with a telescope by using these coordinates: RA: 03:21:39.71 Dec: +16:52:02.6

The left image was taken before the explosion. In the right image, afterward, the pinpoint of light is clearly visible. Credit: SDSS (left); NASA/Swift/UVOT (right)

[edit on 24/2/06 by Souljah]

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:17 AM
So, does Solar Radiation travel faster than the speed of light? or what?

Cause, its 440 million lightyears away..

Anyway, Souljah, you're great man, but this is the exact kind of stuff that freaks me out too much!

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:34 AM
This should be very interesting to watch, however I don't think it is a sign of a new savior. Who knows tho maybe.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:35 AM
Hey, fascinating stuff.

Any of the Astronomy experts know if there would be any danger or concerns that may come of this?

440 Million lights years seems far away but...

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:37 AM
my brain can't even begin to comprehend....

"billions of light years".......that kind of distance is staggering....

anyway, cool find, can we look forward to some hubble pics maybe ???

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:39 AM
Edit: I read the wrong report. Disregard what I said.

[edit on 24-2-2006 by Beachcoma]

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 10:51 AM
I worry about the radiation. I had heard, that a nearby supernova could propel us into an ice age... or worse... just fry us right off the planet...
more on supernova danger

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 11:08 AM
Laz, that's a scary thought, not to mention they are thinking this 'mysterious burst' is a prelude to a hypernova or something. Of all the doomsday scenarios I've heard, this is the scariest one to me, because it's the one most rooted in reality.

Somemore on supernovae events frying us all:
Cosmic Cannon: How an Exploding Star Could Fry Earth

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 11:50 AM
Radiation, like light, is an electromagnetic wave. As such, it can only travel as fast as the speed of light. Since the object is 440 million light-years away, this means the event took place 440 million light-years ago, since the light is just reaching us now. When the light got here and we were able to observe it, so did any radiation that would hit the planet.

To give you perspective and alleviate fears, Kepler's star, was observed going supernova in 1604 by Kepler. We can see the reminants in the Ophiuchus constellation. This star that went supernova was only 20,000 light years away. This object is 440,000,000 light years away. Let not your hearts be troubled.

Nice find, Souljah!

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 12:06 PM

Originally posted by junglejake
Since the object is 440 million light-years away, this means the event took place 440 million light-years ago, since the light is just reaching us now. When the light got here and we were able to observe it, so did any radiation that would hit the planet.

I thought it was that simple also... but from the link I posted, it seems that yes, the first of the radiation effects hit when the light does...
but there are slower, more dangerous particles that are still coming.
there was a scale on my link, that gave some numbers...
they coulda been french for all i know, becasue i didn't understand the measurements... but it indicated, as years go by... more and more radiation gets here...

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 12:25 PM
That's true, but again, there was a supernova witnesses 20,000 light years away 400 years ago with no repercussions on us. The sun creates a large magnetic field around the solar system that does a very good job of repelling external radiation, and the Earth generates a similar, though smaller, magnetic field around the planet, as well.

There's also the supernova recorded by several societies from 1056 AD that formed the Crab Nebula. This supernova took place only 6,500 light years away from earth and didn't destroy or cause any noticeable effects that were recorded back in the day.

Finally, there's the supernova recorded by the Chinese in 1006 AD which is the brightest astronomical event in recorded history. It wasn't until 1965 that the suspected nebula associated with this solar explosion was discovered -- right near Beta Lupi, which is 520 light years away!

To give you an idea of the distance 440 million light years is, the Milky Way disk is only 100,000 light years wide. This took place well outside the galaxy. If a supernova 520 light years away didn't severely damage our planet, or, for all we can tell, effect the surface at all, I believe we can safely assume one 440,000,000 light years away isn't going to.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 12:36 PM
JJ, you're probably right about this particular supernova or potential supernova (it's still just a GRB at the moment). But if you read the related link Souljah posted, that magnetar starquake was 55,000 light years away yet it affected our ionosphere.

The closest neutron star they've detected so far is 200 light years away. Between 200 to 55,000 lightyears I'm sure there's some still undiscovered magnetar or pulsar ready to erupt in a starquake, so it's scary what might happen if these "soft gamma-repeaters" were to burst like SGR1806-20 from Souljah's second link.

What I'm saying is it's possible. The other supernovae blasts were pitiful compared to these already dead stars.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 12:49 PM

Originally posted by Beachcoma
What I'm saying is it's possible.

It's possible, but why trouble yourself over such possibilities? If you spend your time worrying about possible risks in life, you'll never be able to live life. If one of them goes up, there's nothing we can do. We can't prevent it from happening. Why fret over uncontrolable circumstances?

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:04 PM
Nah, I'm not fretting

After all if it happens there isn't a thing any of us could do. Besides, from what I've read, it'll be quick and probably painless.

Not to mention there's probably a higher chance of us as a species killing ourselves first, what with all the nonsense going on in the world right now.

Laugh or cry?

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:12 PM

Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
[the first of the radiation effects hit when the light does...

Yes, but a lot if not all Ultra violet radiation gets absorbed by our still functioning ozone layer fortunatly...

Despite the U.S. anti-Kyoto politics we do still have that natural protection.

It does not protect against electromagnetics though, or sun flares.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:16 PM
Repent, I say repent sinners as the dawn of the end is now upon us and all that was, and is will no longer cease to be.

The time of the rule of mankind is drawing closed in a speedy fashion, repent I sayeth to you and yours.

Or we may just see a pretty light show...hmmm who knows.

- One Man Short

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 02:42 PM
I'd much rather just hope for some spectacular sights and no danger - though they never seem to happen at the same times (Fireworks - pretty + dangerous, Mountain Climbimg the same etc lol).

Umm people have been detecting stuff on the SETI thing, like triplet bumps - i wonder if these can be linked to the GRBs??

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