19
Feb
2005

Huge 'star-quake' rocks Milky Way

Interesting - notice it was the date. FYI - Anna

Begin forwarded message:
//news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4278005.stm

Last Updated: Friday, 18 February, 2005, 19:10 GMT

Huge 'star-quake' rocks Milky Way

SGR 1806-20 has intense magnetic fields

Astronomers say they have been stunned by the amount of energy released in a star explosion on the far side of our galaxy, 50,000 light-years away.

The flash of radiation on 27 December was so powerful that it bounced off the Moon and lit up the Earth's atmosphere.

The blast occurred on the surface of an exotic kind of star - a super-magnetic neutron star called SGR 1806-20.

If the explosion had been within just 10 light-years, Earth could have suffered a mass extinction, it is said.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime event

Dr Rob Fender, Southampton University

"We figure that it's probably the biggest explosion observed by humans within our galaxy since Johannes Kepler saw his supernova in 1604," Dr Rob Fender, of Southampton University, UK, told the BBC News website.

One calculation has the giant flare on SGR 1806-20 unleashing about 10,000 trillion trillion trillion watts.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. We have observed an object only 20km across, on the other side of our galaxy, releasing more energy in a 10th of a second than the Sun emits in 100,000 years," said Dr Fender.

Fast turn

The event overwhelmed detectors on space-borne telescopes, such as the recently launched Swift observatory.

This facility was put above the Earth to detect and analyse gamma-ray bursts - very intense but fleeting flashes of radiation.

The giant flare it and other instruments caught in December has left scientists scrabbling for superlatives.

Swift moved quickly to track down the source of the gamma-rays

Twenty institutes from around the world have joined the investigation and two teams are to report their findings in a forthcoming issue of the journal Nature.

The light detected from the giant flare was far brighter in gamma-rays than visible light or X-rays.

Research teams say the event can be traced to the magnetar SGR 1806-20.

This remarkable super-dense object is a neutron star - it is composed entirely of neutrons and is the remnant collapsed core of a once giant star.

Now, though, this remnant is just 20km across and spins so fast it completes one revolution every 7.5 seconds.

"It has this super-strong magnetic field and this produces some kind of structure which has undergone a rearrangement - it's an event that is sometimes characterised as a 'star-quake', a neutron star equivalent of an earthquake," explained Dr Fender.

"It's the only possible way we can think of releasing so much energy."

Continued glow

SGR 1806-20 is sited in the southern constellation Sagittarius. Its distance puts it beyond the centre of the Milky Way and a safe distance from Earth.

"Had this happened within 10 light-years of us, it would have severely damaged our atmosphere and would possibly have triggered a mass extinction," said Dr Bryan Gaensler, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who is the lead author on one of the forthcoming Nature papers.

"Fortunately there are no magnetars anywhere near us."

The initial burst of high-energy radiation subsided quickly but there continues to be an afterglow at longer radio wavelengths.

This radio emission persists as the shockwave from the explosion moves out through space, ploughing through nearby gas and exciting matter to extraordinary energies.

"We may go on observing this radio source for much of this year," Dr Fender said.

This work is being done at several centres around the globe, including at the UK's Multi-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer Network (Merlin) and the Joint Institute for VLBI (Very Long Baseline for Interferometry) in Europe - both large networks of linked radio telescopes.
logo

Omega-News

User Status

Du bist nicht angemeldet.

Suche

 

Archiv

Februar 2005
Mo
Di
Mi
Do
Fr
Sa
So
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Aktuelle Beiträge

Wenn das Telefon krank...
//groups.google.com/g roup/mobilfunk_newsletter/ t/6f73cb93cafc5207   htt p://omega.twoday.net/searc h?q=elektromagnetische+Str ahlen //omega.twoday. net/search?q=Strahlenschut z //omega.twoday.net/ search?q=elektrosensibel h ttp://omega.twoday.net/sea rch?q=Funkloch //omeg a.twoday.net/search?q=Alzh eimer //freepage.twod ay.net/search?q=Alzheimer //omega.twoday.net/se arch?q=Joachim+Mutter
Starmail - 8. Apr, 08:39
Familie Lange aus Bonn...
//twitter.com/WILABon n/status/97313783480574361 6
Starmail - 15. Mär, 14:10
Dänische Studie findet...
//omega.twoday.net/st ories/3035537/ -------- HLV...
Starmail - 12. Mär, 22:48
Schwere Menschenrechtsverletzungen ...
Bitte schenken Sie uns Beachtung: Interessengemeinschaft...
Starmail - 12. Mär, 22:01
Effects of cellular phone...
//www.buergerwelle.de /pdf/effects_of_cellular_p hone_emissions_on_sperm_mo tility_in_rats.htm [...
Starmail - 27. Nov, 11:08

Status

Online seit 6739 Tagen
Zuletzt aktualisiert: 8. Apr, 08:39

Credits