[personal profile] plug_in_baby57


See that big shiny thing up there? That's a gamma ray burst, the oldest and farthest away spotted, in fact. They are very special.

First there's two theories on what causes them. The first is that a star is so massive (over 100x the mass of the sun) collapses into a black hole, the second is the collision of two neutron stars to form a black hole. The first is thought to cause a gamma ray burst averaging 30 seconds long, the second a much shorter burst.

Gamma ray bursts are the most luminescent things in the universe. In the short few seconds they last, they release more energy than the sun will in it's entire ten billion year life span. It is thought that if one were to occur in our milky way galaxy, it would cause the mass extinction of all life on earth.

The gamma ray burst pictured lasted ten seconds and is the furthest thing from earth ever detected, and by that virtue, also the earliest thing known to have existed in the universe and it is thought that the star that caused it could have been one of the first stars to exist. It is so bright, that was visible for those ten seconds despite occuring 13 billion light years away.
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plug_in_baby57

October 2010

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