Main Question or Discussion Point
If the exploding star that caused the gamma ray burst on Wednesday had occurred as close to us as Alpha Centauri what would be the effect on Earth?
Thanks Dave. As depressed as I was before I logged on tonight you have somehow managed to worsen it.One could consider that, what with all the speculation of life distributed throughout the universe, there's likely now a big, dead wasteland out there, untold light years in radius.
We are now a little bit more alone.
Chin up, Casey. Life is resilient. There's some speculation that a GRB caused Earth's Ordovician extinction, but not all life on Earth was destroyed.Thanks Dave. As depressed as I was before I logged on tonight you have somehow managed to worsen it.
They cite The History Channel, so I'm not sure how this calculation was done, but there you go.Wikipedia said:There is a one in a million chance that there could be a gamma ray burst as near as the Earth's closest star, Alpha Centauri, in the lifetime of the Earth. Such a burst, at 4.3 lightyears distant, would effectively incinerate the Earth.
This GRB was 7.5 billion light years away making it that far in the past. Our solar system is only about 4.5 billion years old. Even if life got caught in the blast it would be unlikely to have any meaning to neighbors we can expect today. How many star births can be attributed to an event that size? If a technological civilization has actually been around that long their civilization would be unimaginable to us. GRBs may however be why we appear to be alone at present.We are now a little bit more alone.