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Space 'firefly' resembles no known object

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posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 07:13 PM
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(Note to Mods: I searched for previous threads with no joy, if they exist, please close and redirect.)






The object, called SCP 06F6, was first spotted in the constellation Bootes in February 2006 in a search for supernovae by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Nothing had been seen at its location before it started to brighten, and nothing was spotted after it dimmed. That suggests it is normally too faint to observe and that it brightened by at least 120 times during its firefly-like episode.

Stars are known to brighten dramatically when they explode as supernovae. But supernovae reach their maximum brightness after about 20 days, and this object took a leisurely 100 days to hit its peak.

The object's spectrum is also bizarre. It does not match that of anything seen in the mammoth Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has mapped more than a quarter of the sky.


I recall reading about this about a year ago and am surprised to see it come back. The first thing that popped into my head last year and still lingers today is; Are we looking at the effects of a spacecraft drive? Or, if we are sure it's a star, is someone meddling with its interior to purposely eradiate a system (War? Outbreak?) Or perhaps provide added thrust to their solar sail? Read on...




The spectrum shows a handful of spectral lines, but when astronomers try to trace any one of them to an element - such as magnesium, the other lines fail to match up with known elements.

"Because we can't see anything we recognize in the spectrum, we can't tell if it's even in the galaxy or in another galaxy," says Kyle Barbary of the University of California, Berkeley, lead author of the new study.

If it's inside the galaxy, it might be a dim stellar ember called a white dwarf. White dwarfs can brighten suddenly when they steal matter from a nearby stellar companion or suck in matter from a disc of debris around them.

But that process of sucking in matter would have to happen in a "strange way" to explain the odd spectrum, Barbary says: "It would still leave something unanswered."

If the object lies outside the galaxy, explaining its provenance is no easier.

When its discovery was first reported in 2006, astronomer Stefan Immler of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, suggested to New Scientist that the object might be a very distant supernova, lying about 12 billion light years away.


After translating all the Sci-Speak, it boils down to "We don’t know."

There is more to read here at the source

So what’s your take? I invite your speculation.

-W.P.




posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by whiskeypoet
 


Hem, could be a hypernova from very far away. Could also be a Magnetar interacting with a black hole. Really I do not know either,lol. Those two theories seem more plausible though IMO.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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interesting....whatever it was ...its gone now...and we "the human race" missed it as usual, good thread ....s$f



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 08:04 PM
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Though I will follow up my question with some research (not familiar with a Magnetar) are hypernovas known to pulsate?

I agree with your "plausible theory" statement. But it brings the question to my mind that we (SETI rather) should spend more time looking for other evidence of advanced civilizations. Cherenkov radiation detectors? Neutrinos leaking from blacked out Dyson spheres?

Radio is so passé



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by whiskeypoet
 


I have to totally agree with you on that Whiskey. But it ain't gonna happen. Funding for astronomical research has been in decline for a long time. I don't think TPTB want us to know what's going on up there and with advances in technology it makes it all the more likely that someone will obtain undeniable proof of intelligence among the stars. You only need to look at the astrophotography of JLW with off the shelf 6 and 12 inch relectors to see that.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 08:26 PM
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reply to post by jkrog08
 


Granted both theories you presented, wouldn’t you think that the object would still be visible using Chandra?

I would think for either a Hypernova or Magnetar it would still be spitting X-rays rather copiously. But then again, we don’t know if they looked or not...

Thanks for bringing Magnetar into my lexicon.
Neutron stars or mean enough already...



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by whiskeypoet
 


en.wikipedia.org...

That should get you started on researching Magnetars, which are like Pulsars but rather than pulsing radio waves they pulse powerful magnetic field waves.


Actually now I am thinking it could have been a Magnetar Quake, which can cause Soft Gamma Ray flare emissions. That could account for the pulsing effect.

Also I found this article from the ESA about a possible Periodic Pulsar, which is possibly a transition phase neutron star between a Magnetar and Pulsar.


Astronomers have discovered a most bizarre celestial object that emitted 40 visible-light flashes before disappearing again. It is most likely to be a missing link in the family of neutron stars, the first case of an object with an amazingly powerful magnetic field that showed some brief, strong visible-light activity.

www.eso.org...

That could also account for the image, maybe.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 08:30 PM
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reply to post by whiskeypoet
 


Yea it seems likely now (or at least more plausible,lol) that this in fact could be a Periodic Pulsar, that would account for the optical flare seen by Hubble, as well the pulses.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by jkrog08
 


Periodic Pulsar, check.

What do you think accounts for the lack of any other emissions or our inability to find it now? Distance? I would think it would still be an x-ray source.

(By the way, if you have read my posts you know I love to speculate, but Occam's razor cuts deep in my book. My feet are on the ground) thanks for making me learn a little. Discover, Sci-Am and Nat Geo aren’t cutting it. I guess I'll have to renew my subscription to Astronomy



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 09:36 PM
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I know!

Light takes a long time to travel... so this was

A long Time ago... In a Galaxy Far Far away

It's the Death Star Fragging Alderaan!!!

Who needs Michiu Kaku and Steven Hawkings when you got me?





Seriously, fascinating find op... wanted to compliment, but no one liners siiiigh



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by whiskeypoet
 



What do you think accounts for the lack of any other emissions or our inability to find it now? Distance? I would think it would still be an x-ray source.


The inability to find it now could be attributed to the transition of the star from a Pulsar to a Magnetar. Some speculate this happens in cycles, sometimes the star is in "Pulsar Phase" and others it changes to "Magnetar Phase". As far as speculation as to why x-rays can not be detected anymore I really haven't a clue, although it is possible that the star went back down to a neutron state, thus not giving off anything in amounts that could be observed. We are learning so much new information right now about neutron star life cycles it is hard to say. But I think this is the most plausible scenario. It is also possible that the star exploded in a GRB and was not recognized between all the pulses of light from the transition. There is also theoretical GRBs that could (emphasis on could) last as long as this anomaly was photographed. Most GRBs last only fractions of seconds, some a little longer. There have been none documented that lasted as long as your threads anomaly however. But it is postulated it could be possible. Then again this could be some Dyson Sphere or alien battle! Heck maybe even a tear in spacetime itself,lol.



posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by mopusvindictus
I know!

Light takes a long time to travel... so this was

A long Time ago... In a Galaxy Far Far away

It's the Death Star Fragging Alderaan!!!

Who needs Michiu Kaku and Steven Hawkings when you got me?




Nice!

But may I pull you up on one thing. Hawking- what a twat, certainly no genius. He's only ever had one original idea in his life. All the other work is stolen borrowed or completely wrong. Hawking is the most overrated ignorant arrogant self publisizing twat the scientific world has ever known.

He used to like having bets with Penrose and Penroses' office wall is covered in framed letters from Hawking admitting he's wrong about this and wrong about that. Sorry but he's just a twat and any child could have come up with Hawking Radiation and his 'brief history...' is all about him getting this award and that award and being invited here and being guest of honour there. I think he gives disabled people (of which I'm one) a bad name. Twat twat twat.




[edit on 16-6-2009 by sharps]



posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by jkrog08
 


I'll buy the quiet Neutron Star theory for lack of X-rays for now. Murphy knows the universe is vast enough that we haven’t even scratched the surface of anomalies and rare events. I don’t really see Grays behind every signal and Martians in every rock.

Thanks again for the speculation. It’s almost like I have my own astronomer/cosmologist in my hip pocket… hey… I guess I actually do!

Though I must say that Dyson Spheres, Ringworlds, Space-time tears and Epic Battles with Orion as the back drop are much more fun.



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