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gamma bursts in space

 
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2004 02:17 pm
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/gamma/

This is a link to a nova topic that was on TV recently, and it fascinated me. It has opened a lot of eyes as to other things going on in the universe.

Any thoughts?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,582 • Replies: 24
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2004 02:37 pm
GRB's have interested me for years since I learned about them from the Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive ( http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html )

It's a great mystery (or was): What is it that makes the biggest explosion known in the Universe, and then vanishes from sight?

To me that seemed obvious: It had to be the birth of a black hole. You gotta figure that super massive stars collapse at some time in their lives, with a large portion of their energy/mass being lost to the singularity, so what would the final collapse look like... Gamma Ray Burst.

Many theories have been proposed to explain GRB's, but the most popular recently has been the Collapsar. It's always seemed obvious to me, but I guess they now have actual evidence to back up the theory (which is a better way to do it Wink )
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L R R Hood
 
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Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2004 03:51 pm
I thought they stated that it was the creation of the black hole that resulted in the explosion... I think the new question is "What is it that exploded in the first place?" But it sounds like you're onto that one as well Smile
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 12:15 pm
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
I thought they stated that it was the creation of the black hole that resulted in the explosion... I think the new question is "What is it that exploded in the first place?" But it sounds like you're onto that one as well Smile


In theory, super massive stars would form black holes as their nuclear fuel runs out and the star can no longer hold up its own mass. The rusult for massive stars is a super nova, sometimes leading to a neutron star. But for stars who's mass exceeds a certain threshold, the amount of compressed and collapsed material is greater than can be supported by even the sub nuclear forces (neutrons), and the star collapses even further into a singluarity.

This entire process is very rapid. A star may live for billions of years, but its death can occur in mere hours. As the black hole forms, it wrends the matter near its edges and leaks gamma rays as a result.

There are other theories for GRB's as well, but I like this one the best. It's certainly the most amazing one to consider. Smile

Best Regards,
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L R R Hood
 
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Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 03:12 pm
Very interesting, thank you!
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Tobruk
 
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Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 04:36 pm
GRB are one explanation to maybe explain why we don't have aliens visiting us all the time.

Basically unless you can get off your planet and colonise a large number or stars in a large enough area a GRB will go off within a few hundred light years of you eventually and kill the crap out of you.
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L R R Hood
 
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Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 05:37 pm
Tobruk, I was thinking the same thing... but since there are so many people sho claim to have seen aliens, or their ships, then maybe the aliens are coming here because its in a place where GRB are unlikely.

I know I'm reaching... but I've been thinking about all of this.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 09:21 am
Tobruk wrote:
GRB are one explanation to maybe explain why we don't have aliens visiting us all the time.

Basically unless you can get off your planet and colonise a large number or stars in a large enough area a GRB will go off within a few hundred light years of you eventually and kill the crap out of you.


Yes, this is one of the answers to the Fermi Paradox. And from what we know of GRB's currently, it seems like a good explanation for the limiting factor in the growth and expansion of life in the cosmos.

Many GRB's are so powerful that they are capable of sterilizing large portions of whole galaxies. And the high energy particles are also capable of disrupting many mechanical storage systems, so even mechanical "life" might not survive large GRB's.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 09:24 am
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
Tobruk, I was thinking the same thing... but since there are so many people sho claim to have seen aliens, or their ships, then maybe the aliens are coming here because its in a place where GRB are unlikely.


As far as I know, GRB's are evenly distrubuted in time and space, so there is nothing to exempt our own galaxy from a GRB event.
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L R R Hood
 
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Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 11:21 am
That's disheartening.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 01:20 pm
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
That's disheartening.


Well, it may be small consolation, but life has been going on this planet for 3.5G years, so our chances of being obliterated anytime soon seem relatively small.

If Humanity follows its current pattern of technological development, and continues to explore the stars, it's possible that we may spread far enough in the next few million years to give ourselves a better chance of lasting forever.
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L R R Hood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 05:46 pm
That's a good point, thank you. For some reason, its taken my little brain several days to fully digest this new knowledge. Smile Maybe I'll get used to it eventually.
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Tobruk
 
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Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 06:21 pm
We live in a rather unpopulated part of space. If GRB are created by blackholes forming or some other thing to do with a new black hole then we are in a section of space that has a low chance of black holes forming.

If though they are just to do with black holes going around and sucking in crap then it may not matter where you are.

A star large enough to form a black hole should die every 1 000 years in our galaxy. There should be 10 000 000 black holes in our galaxy.
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L R R Hood
 
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Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 11:55 am
10 000 black holes in our galazy? Are there that many?
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 12:25 pm
A recent Black Hole: http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/06/10/blackhole.smallest/index.html

A wandering Black Hole: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap010921.html
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Tobruk
 
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Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 03:23 pm
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
10 000 black holes in our galazy? Are there that many?


10 000 000. The other 3 0s are on the next line.
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NickFun
 
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Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 03:39 pm
I have also heard that if a gamma ray burst occured within about 100 loght years of Earth we would all be fried and not having this conversation.
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Tobruk
 
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Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 05:02 pm
NickFun wrote:
I have also heard that if a gamma ray burst occured within about 100 loght years of Earth we would all be fried and not having this conversation.


Hence the theory they wipe out life and prevent Star Trek from happening. Sad
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akaMechsmith
 
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Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2004 05:41 pm
Ros et all,,

Mechanically speaking, I suspect some of the gamma ray bursts are significant in the deaths and births of galaxies.

When a galaxy has lost enough of its orbital (inertial-kinetic) energies all its mass will be concentrated in a "black hole". Since most mechanical devices can only absorb a fixed amount of energies before changing (form-shape-state) in effect; blowing up. I suspect that this is whats happening.

I certainly don't KNOW but it seems reasonable to me. I kind of wish somebody did KNOW Sad .
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2004 07:04 pm
Hi Mech,

akaMechsmith wrote:
Ros et all,,

Mechanically speaking, I suspect some of the gamma ray bursts are significant in the deaths and births of galaxies.


What makes you think this?

akaMechsmith wrote:
When a galaxy has lost enough of its orbital (inertial-kinetic) energies all its mass will be concentrated in a "black hole".


As far as I know, Galaxies do not lose orbital kinetic energy any more than our solar system does. Galaxies do collide however, and when they do, they are disrupted sufficiently to send more material into the central super massive black holes which are the foundation of most galaxies. But they do not lose kinetic energy without interacting with something else, and for the most part, there is nothing else to interact with.

akaMechsmith wrote:
Since most mechanical devices can only absorb a fixed amount of energies before changing (form-shape-state) in effect; blowing up. I suspect that this is whats happening.


This is unlikely given what we know about Black Holes.

Black Holes are not like normal mechanical devices, or physical phenomena. They do not overload and burst (based on the math of the standard models, which have been largly confirmed). They just keep getting more and more massive as they consume things.
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