Astronomers witnessed a star torn apart by a black hole

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by twiztidsinz, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. twiztidsinz
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    twiztidsinz Taiju Yamada Fan

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    On March 28, 2011, NASA’s Swift satellite caught a flash of high-energy X-rays pouring in from deep space. Swift is designed to do this, and since its launch in 2004 has seen hundreds of such things, usually caused by stars exploding at the ends of their lives.

    But this time was hardly "usual". It didn’t see a star exploding as a supernova, it saw a star literally getting torn apart as it fell too close to a black hole!

    The event was labeled GRB 110328A –a gamma-ray burst seen in 2011, third month (March) on the 28th day (in other words, last week). Normal gamma-ray bursts are when supermassive stars collapse (or ultra-dense neutron stars merge) to form a black hole. This releases a titanic amount of energy, which can be seen clear across the Universe.

    And those last two characteristics are certainly true of GRB 110328A; it’s nearly four billion light years away*, and the ferocity of its final moments is not to be underestimated: it peaked at a solid one trillion times the Sun’s brightness! [/p]
    I apologize for the semi-misleading title, there was not enough room for the full title and it was cut off.
    Lots more information and details in the full article below. It is a very interesting read.

    [​IMG] Source
     


  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Awesome, some good space stuff happening and set to be seen in the next few years it seems.
     
  3. Gameking-4

    Gameking-4 Demon of the mist

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    and we're next.....
     
  4. Nujui

    Nujui I need something to do.

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    Dreamland.
    Probably not in our lifetime.
     
  5. awssk8er

    awssk8er GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    So if GRB110328A was four billion light years away, that means this technically happened four billion years ago, but wasn't visible to us now?
     
  6. Nujui

    Nujui I need something to do.

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    Light years means how many years it takes for us to even see it. If it happen 4 billion years ago, we won't be able to see it for 4 billion years. It must have been 4 billion light years today, so it was able to be seen.

    Edit:Typo.
     
  7. phoenix1234

    phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    * Or, to be pedantic, it took nearly four billion years for the light from the explosion to get here. i doubt our galaxy was even formed then [​IMG]
     
  8. awssk8er

    awssk8er GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Ok, that's what I thought, but it seemed pretty hard to believe that the sattelite can see that far away. [​IMG]
     
  9. gamerjr

    gamerjr GBAtemp Regular

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    We estimate that the universe is at least 15 billion years old

    edit:
    oh wait our galaxy, but still im not even into the field and im sure the milky way was formed
     
  10. s4mid4re

    s4mid4re  

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    Actually, Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago so it happened on Earth's 500 millionth Anniversary [​IMG]
    So the Milky Way should've formed way before that.

    And yeah, light year is how many years it takes the light to reach us (or wherever you are referring to)

    EDIT: one light year is equal to: about 5,878,625,373,183.608 miles (about 6 trillion miles) source
     
  11. phoenix1234

    phoenix1234 Advanced Member

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    so thats 6 Trillion X 4 Billion = ??? Miles [​IMG]
     
  12. Ammako

    Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    I'm pretty sure we'd all end up going crazy if we tried to imagine what it was like before the universe existed.
     
  13. BobTheJoeBob

    BobTheJoeBob The most optimistic person on the temp. :)

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    Wait wait wait, so did this or did this not happen 4 billion years ago?
     
  14. Defiance

    Defiance oh my god.. it's full of trading cards...

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    You are correct.
     
  15. BobTheJoeBob

    BobTheJoeBob The most optimistic person on the temp. :)

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    [​IMG]

    I need an answer!
     
  16. Defiance

    Defiance oh my god.. it's full of trading cards...

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    Yeah, I just wanted to mess you you. If it's 4 billion light years away and we're now just seeing it, then it happened 4 billion years ago.
     
  17. Fishaman P

    Fishaman P Speedrunner

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    Yes, this happened 4 billion years ago.
     
  18. Raiser

    Raiser I am mad scientist.

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    It astonishes me at how we can see that far and make assumptions on how old the universe is when we can't even get very far from our own planet.
     
  19. Jamstruth

    Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    For those trying to get their head around the distance I must consult the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    Basically. If you can comprehend them then you are a better man than I. I can barely comprehened the size of the Earth.

    As for this event. Awesome, even if it is old news (4 billion years old). Black Holes are so damned powerful. Love the halo of light around it as the light curves due to its gravity (I think anyway)
     
  20. Dr Eggman

    Dr Eggman I am THE Eggman.

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    Nevermind. Not a physicist. XD