posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 12:26 PM
Gamma rays, X rays, Visible light, Infrared, Ultraviolet all travel at what we coin the speed of light. Those are electromagnetic frequencies, with
Gamma and X ray being the highest frequencies, and infrared the lowest frequency.
So, when the probe captured the images, ALL of those frequencies were arriving here with the light you see in the image.
No need to cower in terror while waiting for some Gama rays on it's way to fry you, as when the flare happened and the light got here, so did the
rest of the EM spectrum.
In other words: the electromagnetic energy part of the event is over with.
Now, just like the sun, you see the flare before the excited or ionized particles get here, because those particles travel much, much, MUCH slower
than the speed of light.
How much slower? That's a good question, and is dependent on many things, but let us take a look at an example:
CME errupts from the sun and we see it. It took about 8 minutes for the light of that CME to get here.
However, if you've ever kept an eye on these types of solar events, you know that it can take a day, or even 2 days for the ionized particles that
give us those beautiful northern lights to get here. Many are traveling at only 2 million miles per hour.
Let's say this explosion created some very high velocity ionized particles, and give them a velocity of about 10 million miles per hour.
We are 26,000 light years away from there. That is 1,456,000,000,000,000,000 or 1.456 x 10^18 miles away. At 10,000,000 Mph, it will take those
particles 16,621,000 years to get here.
That's IF they survive not being absorbed by things in between here an there, like other stars, interstellar dust, etc, etc,.....and only if it was
pointed in the right way because, let's face it folks, the solar system is not going to be sitting here in 16 millions years, but will be quite a
ways down the road on it's path around the galaxy.....