I thought people might be interested in this so here goes…. BTW, I'm not an astronomer.
Last April astronomers witnessed an explosion that was second only to the original Big Bang creation.
Astronomers call it the monster. It was the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed.
Because the blast was 3.7 billion light-years away, we weren’t affected; however, orbiting telescopes got the fireworks show of a lifetime.
What happened was a gamma ray burst, an explosion that happens when a massive star dies, collapses into a brand-new black hole, creates a
supernova and ejects energetic radiation that is as bright as can be as it travels across the universe at the speed of light. NASA telescopes in orbit
have been seeing these types of bursts for more than two decades, spotting one every couple of days. But this one was special. It set records,
according to four studies published Thursday in the journal Science.
A handout image released by the European southern Observatory shows an image of the Antennae Galaxies snapped by Hubble Space Telescope. The
recently observed super explosion tore through its galaxy, but was too far to affect Earth. Source: AFP
Here's a foto:
"When this explosion occurred, it flooded NASA instruments with five times the energy as its nearest competitor, a blast in 1999, said University of
Alabama at Huntsville astrophysicist Rob Preece, author of one of the studies.
It started with a star that has 20 to 30 times the mass of our sun, but is only a couple of times bigger in width, so it is incredibly dense. It
exploded in a certain violent way.
In general, gamma ray bursts are ``the most titanic explosions in the universe,'' and the one witnessed last spring was so big some of the telescope
instruments hit their peak. It was far stronger and lasted longer than previous ones.
One of the main reasons this was so bright was that relative to the thousands of other gamma ray bursts astronomers have seen, the monster was pretty
close, even at 3.7 billion light-years."
Most of the bursts NASA telescopes have seen have been twice as distant as this one. Other explosions could be this big, but are so much farther away,
they don't seem so bright when they get to Earth, according to astronomers.
Apparently we don't see gamma ray bursts on the surface of Earth because the atmosphere obscures them and because their light is the type we cannot
see with our eyes, but NASA has satellites that look for them.
For scientists who look for gamma ray bursts, this was a wow moment.
The burst "is part of the cycle of birth and life and death in the universe,'' we are made of the stuff that comes from a supernova.
edit on ppm1121America/ChicagoThu, 21 Nov 2013 20:39:36 -0600364pm13 by pandersway because: Correct the youtube