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NASA Telescopes Join Forces To Observe Unprecedented Explosion

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nalnn Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:31 PM
Original message
NASA Telescopes Join Forces To Observe Unprecedented Explosion
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 01:32 PM by nalnn
Source: NASA

NASA's Swift satellite, Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory have teamed up to study one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts ever observed. More than a week later, high-energy radiation continues to brighten and fade from its location.
Astronomers say they have never seen such a bright, variable, high-energy, long-lasting burst before. Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, and flaring emission from these events never lasts more than a few hours.

Although research is ongoing, astronomers feel the unusual blast likely arose when a star wandered too close to its galaxy's central black hole. Intense tidal forces probably tore the star apart, and the infalling gas continues to stream toward the hole. According to this model, the spinning black hole formed an outflowing jet along its rotational axis. A powerful blast of X- and gamma rays is seen when the jet is pointed in our direction.

On March 28, Swift's Burst Alert Telescope discovered the source in the constellation Draco when it erupted with the first in a series of powerful blasts.

"We know of objects in our own galaxy that can produce repeated bursts, but they are thousands to millions of times less powerful than the bursts we are seeing. This is truly extraordinary," said Andrew Fruchter at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
Swift determined a position for the explosion, which now is cataloged as gamma-ray burst (GRB) 110328A, and informed astronomers worldwide.

Read more: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/apr/HQ_11-106_SWIF...



Wow!


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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. And now the universe is exploding.
I slept late. That's all I did. Earthquakes, explosions, Bloomberg fires his appointee. I needed the rest!
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shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. What???! Bloomberg fired his appointee?
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 03:04 PM by shireen
:wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow:
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paparush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. No. This happened a long, long time ago.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
34. Beck Prophesied this.
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. this is an exciting time for astronomers - so many areas of research
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why did they need all of those telescopes just to observe ...
northern Japan?

;-)
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psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
31. In light of the situation here in Japan...
...not funny. It's an ongoing, very serious situation.

Inside report from Fukushima nuclear reactor evacuation zone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp9iJ3pPuL8&feature=play...
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nalnn Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. And right on the heels of this story
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 01:52 PM by nalnn
NASA just released another that is related:

Breakthrough Study Confirms Cause Of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts
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Mudoria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. In a galaxy far far away...
the Death Star just blew up another rebel planet.
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Tanelorn Donating Member (162 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. OR
A hyperspace bypass
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. ETI ???
Is this perhaps the signal we've been searching for?
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #8
30. If ETs made a blast that large I doubt they were around five minutes later. (nt)
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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. what happened
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 03:56 PM by bongbong
The mega nuclear reactor that powers the whole planet Omicron Persei 8 just exploded.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. The Omicron Electric Power Company Regrets the Inconvenience to the Citzens of the Planet Omicron
and the surrounding galaxies.
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Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. LBN? This event happened 3.8 billion light-years ago
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 04:15 PM by Brother Buzz
I'm just saying.

:hide:
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NoodleyAppendage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. LOL. Buzz killer. n/t
J
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. It took a while for the news to get here.
3.8 billion years or so.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
11. An outflowing jet?
That statement just trumped everything I thought I knew about black holes.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. My thought exactly. I thought everything "inflows" to a black hole and nothing gets back out.
"...the spinning black hole formed an outflowing jet along its rotational axis."

----

Is there something in this description that explains "outflowing" from a black hole? That it is "spinning"? That the "rotational axis" somehow has an outflow while everything else is "inflowing"?

Dunno.

:crazy: :freak: :dunce: :shrug:

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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
28. Well, they can't just Hoover up everything.
Edited on Sat Apr-09-11 08:32 AM by Thor_MN
Otherwise the entire universe would get sucked into the first black hole that formed.

Anything that gets trapped in it's gravity well gets sucked in. If it is moving slow enough and approachs close enough, it's going in and can't escape.

But a portion can get shot out by getting accelerated fast enough to escape.

It's more complicated that what we do to get a "gravity boost" by looping a space vehicle around a planet, but that serves as a greatly simplified example of something passing through a gravity well and coming out faster than it approched. The space vehicle is never trapped by the gravity well, it's path and speed are altered by traveling through the well.

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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Ok, in addition to black holes having a gravitational field, they also...
...spin at high speed, have a magnetic field and may also possess an electric charge.

Infalling matter that "hits" the event horizon is of course gone forever, but it doesn't just fall straight in. It spirals in. A proportion of that matter gets caught up in the magnetic fields of the black hole and follows the lines of that field to the rotational poles, accellerating all the way, just outside the black hole's event horizon, conservation of angular momentum locks it all together. At the pole all that matter is not just nudging lightspeed, but kicking it in the arse and screaming get out of the way and it comes together in a spinning vortex, just where all those magnetic fields converge, turn the corner and conspire to "tug" in a direction opposite to gravity.

And allowing for a lot of gross oversimplifications, that is how you can get matter moving AWAY from a black hole at 99.7% of the speed of light.

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Bosonic Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Apart from matter-antimatter annihilation
Accretion discs are the most efficient mass-to-energy processes in existence, many times more efficient than fission/fusion. Which is why they shine so brightly in the tightly focused jets (produced as you covered), and hence how they can be visible from so far away.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole#Accretion_of_ma...
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stevekatz Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
20. Einstein
Einstein theorized (part of the general relativity theory) about the existence of "white holes".
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
13. Unrelated, but my son's XXM Newton X-ray telescope observations
Were messed up by intense proton flares on March 11, same day as the 9.0 earthquake.

XMM orbits pretty far from the Earth, but it's an interesting coincidence.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. Wow! He must have
some home observatory.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. He's a phd student
He gets the data via a website. But his proposal (to observe a pulsar called 1734) was chosen for a 30 hour observation that day by ESA, so I suppose it was like a sort of temporary home observatory. I thought it was pretty cool.

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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. excellent
I'm an astronomer myself, and I think it would be great if my mom and dad could communicate as clearly about my work as you do about your son's work!
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. He's a phd student
He gets the data via a website. But his proposal (to observe a pulsar called 1734) was chosen for a 30 hour observation that day by ESA, so I suppose it was like a sort of temporary home observatory. I thought it was pretty cool.

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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
15. What if there was life out there?
Would you be sad if there was?

Imagine 7 Billion intelligent life forms dying all at once. Did they see it coming?
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. That galaxy is 3.8 billion light-years away from Earth? - so it happened 3.8 billion years ago.
Damn these old, slow, optical telescopes, we need to open more stargates for some up-to date news events.
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paparush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Exactly. I used to have a 10" dobs and I'd ask my then 8 year old son,
wanna go use the time machine? Let's go look back in time. He really dug it.
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
24. Sorry about the uh, explosion thing
It was all you can eat bean burritos night at the Taco Hut :crazy:

I tried to get as far away as I could, didn't think anyone would notice! :blush: :hurts: :nuke: :hide:
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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
29. Journalism is dead. Unprecedented Observation, not Unprecedented Explosion
If it can happen in the universe, the odds are greatly in favor of it happening more than once and you are not seeing the first time it happened.

Why does the media hate science so much that it assigns writers who don't understand it to cover it?
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
33. I don't think the star was just wandering too close to the black hole.
I think the black hole actually lured it in with its compelling gravity and when it got close enough, it yanked it in and destroyed it. It was all premeditated.

Folks, this is a crime scene, not a celestial event.
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Keith Bee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
35. It's shameful how low their budget is
Look at it any way you want (including defense), we're making a big mistake by ignoring this agency and its fine work.
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
36. How did I miss this
the first time around?
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
37. "The best explanation at the moment is we happen to be looking down the barrel of this jet"
I knew it. We're DOOMED! It's pointed right at us!

I can feel the dark energy flowing through me already...You think SPF 30 will be enough protection from unknown particles from a gutted black hole?
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