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X-Ray Burst Temporarily Blinds NASA Satellite

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the galaxy-sized-shark-thought-to-be-responsible dept.

NASA 117

RedEaredSlider writes with news that a recently-detected gamma-ray burst, originating roughly five billion light-years away, was powerful enough to temporarily blind NASA's Swift satellite. Phil Plait has an interesting writeup on the event. Quoting: "Swift, normally easily able to handle the X-ray load from these explosions, was overwhelmed, and actually shut down temporarily when software detected that the cameras onboard might get damaged by the flood of light. That’s never happened before. The burst was so bright in X-rays it put other GRBs to shame: slamming Swift with 143,000 X-ray photons per second, it was 5 times brighter than the previous record holder, and nearly 200 times as bright as a typical GRB! Weirdly, it didn’t look out of the ordinary in visible light."

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Superman Also Affected (2, Funny)

Kepesk (1093871) | more than 4 years ago | (#32930958)

In a tragedy reported today, Superman was looking at the sky during the GRB event and was blinded due to his X-ray vision. Reports say that he is now training with a seeing-eye falcon.

Re:Superman Also Affected (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931342)

I wonder if any of the ISS crew are feeling stretchy or hot or strong or invisible...

Re:Superman Also Affected (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931454)

Or hard and stiff!

Captain Sunshine strikes again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32933420)

Everyone's a$$ feels a little...warm, and incontinent. :-(

Re:Superman Also Affected (1, Offtopic)

OffTheWallSoccer (1699154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931458)

Posting to undo fat-fingered mod. Sorry.

Re:Superman Also Affected (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932188)

>>>invisible.

Aaaaah..... Jessica... Alba... without clothes..... gaaaah.

Re:Superman Also Affected (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932476)

I'm right there with ya, babe.

Aaaaah..... Jessica... Alba... as Sue Storm..... gaaaaaaaah.

Re:Superman Also Affected (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32933408)

but then of course, one of the others sees Jessica Alba writhing there naked and alone... You have to admit it makes an inviting picture (-;

Re:Superman Also Affected (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932204)

Hmmmm. Nope, doesn't look like it, but one has either grown an extra arm and head or NASA is replaying HHGTTG again.

Re:Superman Also Affected (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932312)

Okay so that describes Jessica Alba, but what about the other three of the fantastic four?

Re:Superman Also Affected (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932464)

Why wouldn't Krypto act as an assistance dog?

Impressive... (4, Funny)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32930964)

...for this LHC to achieve such respectable levels of efficiency.

Re:Impressive... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932026)

The aliens have discovered us.

Re:Impressive... (2, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932160)

No, no, the aliens were just in for their routine medical and the X-Ray scanner went wonky. Nothing to get alarmed about. They were well within the permitted dosage limits, according to medical experts on Omnichron 425.

RUN!! (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32930992)

I think there has been at least a dozen horror and apocalyptic films that have started with this exact event.

Re:RUN!! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931122)

Instant movie formula:

The X-rays* are boiling the Earth's Core? That's Impossible!

*Substitute X-rays for Neutrinos, Beta Waves, Gamma Radiation, C02 gasses, or whatever scares most people at the current time.

Re:RUN!! (3, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931164)

or whatever scares most people at the current time.

Dick Cheney?

Re:RUN!! (2, Funny)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931700)

Cheney is soooooo last presidency.

Re:RUN!! (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931724)

I'm good with Cheney hunting laywer under any administration.

Re:RUN!! (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931810)

or whatever scares most people at the current time.

Dick Cheney?

Seriously? The man's been out of office for a year and a half & has a heart attack every time there is a 5 degree temperature change. Unless you are going hunting with him, what's there to be afraid of?

Re:RUN!! (4, Funny)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931874)

"That is not dead which can eternal lie"

Re:RUN!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32932686)

Seriously? The man's been out of office for a year and a half & has a heart attack every time there is a 5 degree temperature change. Unless you are going hunting with him, what's there to be afraid of?

According to recent news, he may soon be in need of a heart transplant. Ever see "Repo: the Genetic Opera"? Better lock your doors and windows... ;)

Re:RUN!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931990)

Why do people spell "CO2" with a zero? The chemical symbol for Oxygen is not zero!

Re:RUN!! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932278)

In Los Angeles it is.

Re:RUN!! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931212)

I think there has been at least a dozen horror and apocalyptic films that have started with this exact event.

Considering this event happened five billion years ago, there's a good possibility it's more than a dozen.

Re:RUN!! (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931328)

I think there has been at least a dozen horror and apocalyptic films that have started with this exact event.

Considering this event happened five billion years ago, there's a good possibility it's more than a dozen.

I don't see how that has anything to do with anything.

Re:RUN!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32932348)

So, Madame Curie has now been minimized to just another old hag with boob cancer?

Re:RUN!! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931322)

If disaster movies are at all accurate, your best chance of survival is to start predicting a global apocalypse.

Guys should dress somewhat shabbily, women should dress as provocatively as possible, preferably in high heels so you can run effectively from any disaster.

Be sure you have tons of impossible-to-verify-independently facts and observations, and report your findings to the most fossilized organization possible.

Re:RUN!! (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931766)

It also helps if you are impossibly good-looking. Or a child. Or a pet. But is you are cruel to children or pets, you're toast.

She Blinded Me With Science (2, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931006)

She Blinded Me With Science [youtube.com] . Did you know Thomas Dolby [thomasdolby.com] is touring again, btw?

At least they... (4, Funny)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931046)

Only fired off one Halo

Re:At least they... (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932980)

Nah, they all fired at the same time.

We just haven't detected the others yet.

This was just the "muzzle flash", wait till the full blast wave hits.

Youtube "Nibiru" after "Wormhole Sun LASCO" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32933096)

For some reason, other along the equator have perspective to see the 2nd "dead" sun light-up as it rises above the Horizon with the local Solar Sun in this constelation. Can be seen from Sri Lanka, for example. The video of that can be seen here [youtube.com] . Many more on Nibiru as this is what will be the flyby known as Planet-X that is expected by US Navy to discharge gravity and slow Earth rotation to displace over 500 thousand cubic miles of sea water to cover all the planet except Tibet (aka "Roof of the Heavens") and Colorado around Aspen.

I posted another response about Wormhole technology seen used around the Sun, in this video. [youtube.com] Look at that Meteor 4x larger than Jupiter at frame 2:29 that NASA never told anyone about. Wormhole appears millions of lightyears away and can see it's entire waypoint trail off in the distance and then emerge right next to the Solar sun at 2:49. Nothing from NASA... What do they get money for again, ahh, their recent movie Red Planet was a blockbuster but I don't think it's going to be anywhere as real as the government movies from China and India that will appear soon.

To which the GRB source replied: (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931088)

"Ha, ha, made you blink!"

Re:To which the GRB source replied: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931192)

That's two for flinching.

Re:To which the GRB source replied: (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931310)

Considering it's five billion years down and takes another five billion years for the blink to get back, this must be a Guiness record for world's longest practical joke.

Re:To which the GRB source replied: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931824)

Christianity kicks it feet in the dirt for loosing the title.

Re:To which the GRB source replied: (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932716)

Actually, Guiness is only for human-based titles. The book that holds universal records sadly has a name written with Unicode characters which Slashdot refuses to display.

3 times fast ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931114)

Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!

Damn those (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931152)

intergalactic spaceport screening systems

Weirdly? (0)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931168)

Yeah, it is quite weird that X-Rays weren't visible in "visible light"... seeing how the visible light spectrum doesn't even remotely include x-ray...

Re:Weirdly? (4, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931226)

Maybe the implication is that an event that could cause such a burst should show up as out of the ordinary across the spectrum?

Re:Weirdly? (5, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931304)

No, it's odd that the x-ray burst wasn't accompanied by other frequencies. [wikipedia.org] But not that [wikipedia.org] odd.

Re:Weirdly? (4, Informative)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932040)

It is not unusual for gamma-ray bursts to have X-ray afterglows, but no optical afterglows. About 95% of gamma-ray bursts have X-ray afterglows, but only about 60% have optical or infrared afterglows. The reason is that if there is a clump of dust between us and the gamma-ray burst the X-rays will go through, but the optical light will be scattered and never reach us.

LIGO (1)

planckscale (579258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32934188)

I wonder if the burst was close enough to LIGO for it to pick up a Gravity Wave? That's the theory anyway that gravity waves should be measurable in association with GRBs... But waves in the ocean travel much slower than the wind that creates them, so maybe there's a lag between the event and the actual measured wave.

Typical alien cover (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931240)

nm

Search "Wormhole Sun LASCO" on Youtube. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32932890)

You get this video [youtube.com] about actual observations of intercelestial bodies manipulating the sun with what are termed lasers, and then there are passes from what is deemed "wormhole" technology that arrives near the sun from a trailable distance that could be seen as perhaps millions of lightyears away because it can be visually traced.

Then of'course there is the meteor over 4-times larger than Planet Jupiter, and NASA doesn't report any of this.

Yay homebrew and independent astronomers!

Some perspective (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931272)

(143,000, photons /second) x (h, Planck's constant in j-s) x (c, speed of light (in m/s)) / (avg wavelength of x-ray) = (6.63E-32)(3E8)(143,000)/(5E-9) = ~5.68E-10 J/S

Amirite?

Reverse square law (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931372)

Now what would be interesting is that somebody plug those number into a calculator, and assuming a perfect spherical repartition of the X ray photon, calculate the energy / intensity of the total photon emitted at the moment of the event, in 1 AU radius...

Re:Reverse square law (4, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931506)

Last time I looked, "current" theory had GRBs coming from the poles, much like pulsars. This one just happened to be pointing (more or less) at us; we might not even be at the center of the beam.

Re:Some perspective (0, Redundant)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931376)

How much is that in Libraries of Congress?

Re:Some perspective (5, Interesting)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931600)

You got your wavelength wrong. As nobody uses wavelength for x-rays anyway (well almost nobody...),the straightforward way would be:
Number of photons * Energy of Photons.

The detector of Swift is sensitive from 15-150keV, so lets say a median energy of 50keV.
1eV=1.602*10^19J
->
143E3*1.602E-19*50E3= 1.15 nW

Now much, but consider: 1.15nW on each squre meter surface of a sphere with 5 billion lightyears radius...

Re:Some perspective (3, Interesting)

IQgryn (1081397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932064)

1.15 nW/m^2 * 4 * pi * (5E9 ly * 9.46E15 m/ly)^2 = 3.22E43 W

Do we know this wasn't somewhat directed?

Re:Some perspective (4, Informative)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932740)

Do we know this wasn't somewhat directed?

We assume that they are very directed... rather than assuming that 3.6 e26 grams of matter/antimatter are being annihilated every second (from a quick application of E=mc^2).

From Wikipedia's entry on Gamma Ray Bursts [wikipedia.org] [emphasis added]:

Most observed GRBs are believed to be a narrow beam of intense radiation released during a supernova event, as a rapidly rotating, high-mass star collapses to form a black hole.

The other probable cause of GRB's, the merger or two neutron stars, would also rotate rapidly as the stars moved in more closely (conservation of angular momentum: think of a figure skater pulling in her arms). In both cases there exists a well-defined plane of rotation and emissions expelled along the axes.

Re:Some perspective (1)

eastlight_jim (1070084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32933470)

Even if this event is spread over only 1/100 of the surface of a sphere, this energy output is equivalent to the entire output of the milky way, assuming high estimates for number of stars in this galaxy (400 billion or so).It's a truly staggering amount of energy that I don't think humans can appreciate. We all like to bandy about numbers like 10^{nn} without having a clue.

Space is big.

Re:Some perspective (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932006)

(143,000, photons /second) x (h, Planck's constant in j-s) x (c, speed of light (in m/s)) / (avg wavelength of x-ray) = (6.63E-32)(3E8)(143,000)/(5E-9) = ~5.68E-10 J/S Amirite?

Technically you may be right, but this is Slashdot, so we need a car analogy:

5.68E-10 J/S = 5.68E-10 W. The Corvette ZR-1* [wikipedia.org] puts out 476 kW = 476E3W (638 hp). 476E3/5.68E-10 = 8.38028169E14 ~= 838E12

Moral of this is, one top-of-the-line, stock Corvette could "temporarily blind" over eight hundred trillion NASA satellites. I don't want to know how many sats a Romulan Bird-of-Prey could blind...

*NASA's from the U.S.A., so we naturally need an car from the same country. An Enzo Ferrari puts out roughly the same power, if you favor a more European analogy.

Re:Some perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32932298)

Some perspective:

We're doing XRD (X-ray diffraction) in our lab with a small X-ray tube with a few kW power, but only a few percent of that are turned into X-Rays, only a few percent of that hit the sample, only a few percent of that are diffracted and only a few percent of that hit the detector. We regularly see a few *millions* counts/s.

So really, 143,000 photons/second is not much X-ray radiation. Nevertheless it is of course impressive given that it comes from very far away!

Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (4, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931278)

Some....where.....out there....at a glowing terminal in a galaxy far far away....

Pinging eth0.sol.andromeda.alphaquadrant.gxy [10.197.19.1] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 10.197.19.1: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=127
Request timed out
Reply from 10.197.19.1: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=127
Reply from 10.197.19.1: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=127

Ping statistics for 10.197.19.1:

Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 3, Lost = 1 (25% loss),

Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:

Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931368)

You mean the whole universe is on a LAN?! Explains much.

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931378)

Some observations about the Intergalatic NOC.

First, they are probably tired of Intergalatic NOC NOC jokes.

Second, they're probably being sued by Apple for running the iNOC.

Third, it's nice to see that we're not the only in the Galaxy still stuck on IPV4.

Fourth, the iNOC seems to have achieved a FTL network connection based on it's ping rate of 0 to a node several light _years_ away. Any idea on how that was done?

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932144)

"Any idea on how that was done?"

Quantum Entanglement.

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932244)

They're wormholing their network traffic.

a quantum wormhole generator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32933366)

stargated you

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32933608)

Fourth, the iNOC seems to have achieved a FTL network connection based on it's ping rate of 0 to a node several light _years_ away. Any idea on how that was done?

Magic, naturally.

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931716)

http://10.197.19.1/ [10.197.19.1] appears to have been slashdotted. All I get in firefox is:

The connection has timed out

The server at 10.197.19.1 is taking too long to respond.

* The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
* If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
* A Coronal Mass Ejection or other such solar disturbance may be disrupting networks.
* The planet the host is on may have been demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass
* If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932346)

Even they are having problems rolling out IPv6

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932470)

The aliens are stuck on DOS too it would seem.

Just up your TTL... (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932484)

...to 10 billion years. Problem solved.

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932900)

I don't know what has me tickled more, the fact that the galaxy is on a private IP network, or that it's on IPv4!

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32932952)

We're not in the Andromeda galaxy...

Re:Meanwhile, in the intergalactic NOC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32933132)

No way!

The universe doesn't run Windows.

Aliens (1)

captain_dope_pants (842414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931282)

Why are aliens X-raying our satellites? I think Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones should be alerted.

Okay, big X-Ray burst used to mask visitors from.. (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931316)

..which planet?

We can probably blame the MIB [wikipedia.org] (or those they police) for this latest development...

Later at the press conference... (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931332)

... Doctor Bruce Banner stubbed his toe on a table leg, then declared to the journalists "HULK SMASH!" before smashing his way out through the brick wall.

Re:Later at the press conference... (1)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931758)

arrrghhh, you beat me to it.

Big green thumbs up. :)

Now I know... (1)

Neutral_Observer (1409941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931416)

why my big toe was hurting yesterday!

Obsessed with launch costs (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931436)

You try to make the bird so light, and this is the price you will pay down the road.

Re:Obsessed with launch costs (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931650)

What part of "5 times brighter than the previous record holder, and nearly 200 times as bright as a typical GRB" wasn't clear? Do you know of any bridges that are built to withstand 5 times the record max load, or 200 times their average peak load?

Re:Obsessed with launch costs (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931774)

Do you know of any bridges that are built to withstand 5 times the record max load, or 200 times their average peak load?

Building a bridge that way would depend on how long you want the bridge to remain standing with little or no maintenance.

Re:Obsessed with launch costs (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932118)

You're being specious again. Besides, Swift's design lifetime is a handful of years. Which, of course, has nothing to do with launch weight (shielding) or max expected input.

Re:Obsessed with launch costs (2, Informative)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932146)

The story is very sensationalist. All that happened is that the X-ray photons reached the detector faster than they could be recorded. Once the rate of photons slowed down the detector was fine again. This is a fairly normal occurrence for X-ray detectors. Roughly half of all of the gamma-ray bursts that Swift detects have X-ray emission higher than the XRT's coincidence limit.

Blinded by the LIGHT !! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931608)

Blinded by the light
revved up like a deuce
another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
revved up like a deuce
another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
revved up like a deuce
another runner in the night
Madman drummers bummers
Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder feelin kinda older
I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasin sneezin and wheezin
the calliope crashed to the ground
The calliope crashed to the ground
But she was
Blinded by the light
revved up like a deuce
runner in the night

Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I go what it takes
She said "Ill turn you on sonny to something strong
play the song with the funky break"
And go-cart Mozart was checkin out the weather chart to see if it was safe outside
And little Early-Pearly came by in his curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride
Asked me if I needed a ride
But she was
Blinded by the light
revved up like a deuce
another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
She got down but she never got tired
Shes gonna make it through the night
Shes gonna make it through the night
But mama thats where the fun is
But mama thats where the fun is
Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun
But mama thats where the fun is
Some brimstone baritone anticyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
Says "Dethrone the dictaphone hit it in its funny bone
thats where they expect it least"
And some new-mown chaperone was standin in the corner
watching the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin with his frozen zone reminding him of romance
The calliope crashed to the ground
But she was
Blinded by the light
revved up like a deuce
another runner in the night

Madman drummers bummers Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder feelin kinda older
I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasin sneezin and wheezin
the calliope crashed to the ground
Now Scott with a slingshot finially found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not said daddys within earshot save the buckshot turn up the band
Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I go what it takes
She said "Ill turn you on sonny to something strong"

Re:Blinded by the LIGHT !! (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932108)

Doc Bruce Banner,
Belted by gamma rays,
Turned into the Hulk.

Ain’t he unglamo-rays!

Wreckin’ the town
With the power of a bull,

Ain’t no monster clown
Who is as lovable.

As ever-lovin’ Hulk! HULK!! HULK!!"

Visible light SETI (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931614)

Obviously, this was an attempt by the Chela [wikipedia.org] at Optical SETI [planetary.org] .

It's not their fault we have a different definition of "optical"....

Re:Visible light SETI (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32933170)

This may have been the flash from a starquake!! We need to mount a rescue mission at once!

Holy photons, Batman! (1)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931698)

If I'm doing my calculations correctly, I get a figure of ~1.436 x 10^57 photons per second coming from the source, assuming a fully spherical distribution...

Re:Holy photons, Batman! (1)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931826)

Whoops, I managed somehow to screw radius/diameter in my haste, the corrected figure would be ~1.449 x 10^58...

Re:Holy photons, Batman! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932234)

So, to double check, count them!

Re:Holy photons, Batman! (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932168)

The distribution is not spherical. Gamma-ray burst are thought to be beamed into jets with opening angles of about 1-10 degrees.

Re:Holy photons, Batman! (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932182)

Current theories have GRB emissions coming from the stars poles instead of evenly around the whole star. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst_emission_mechanisms#Jet_effects)

Either way, it's still a lot of photons!

Re:Holy photons, Batman! (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932236)

"assuming a fully spherical distribution..."

But of course its not emitted in all directions. Its a very narrow beam coming out of the pole of a black hole.

Re:Holy photons, Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32933432)

That's not an "of course". It's an assumption that we make because explaining GRBs if they're highly directed is a lot easier than explaining them if they're spherically distributed.

But it's not a given that they are what we think they are.

Outrageous Bureaucratic Sloth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32932022)

This GRB was 5 billion light years away. That means they had 5 billion years to prepare for this and take evasive measures. Yet they did not.

Gee, maybe if they had 10 billion years to prepare, they might have found time to do something about it!

Wonder if we'll see other effects. (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932038)

Since it was an extraordinary x-ray discharge from a great distance with no other apparent discharges (radio, infrared, visible, etc), I have to wonder if continued observation will eventually yield those at a later time. If so, how would that be interpreted? (Not only regarding the cause/aftermath of the event itself, but also interference by interstellar materials and possible changes to em propagation.)

I don't know much science, but I know enough to make science teachers nervous ;)

Re:Wonder if we'll see other effects. (2, Informative)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932370)

Plenty of extraordinarily distant GRBs have been observed already and no evidence [nature.com] has been found yet of variation of EM propagation speed across the spectrum over long distances.

Glad it is just gamma rays (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932528)

Glad it is just gamma rays, if it were in infrared or even visible light, somebody would probably blame the burst for the global temperature rise.

chicago cubs Affected they are staring to play goo (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32932868)

they are staring to play good base ball now.

That's funny... (1)

bynary (827120) | more than 4 years ago | (#32933020)

Weirdly, it didn’t look out of the ordinary in visible light.

I don't see how this is weird. The room didn't get any brighter when they bombarded my knee with x-rays when they were looking at my torn meniscus.

My Optics! (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32933176)

My Optics! The goggles to nothing!

A Funny (1)

cloakedpegasus (1761746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32933370)

Turns out it was caused by the Death Star.
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