Went boom

DaveC426913
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On March 19th at 2:20AM** http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/03/20/naked-eye-visible-grb/". In the few seconds this object flared, it put out a million, million, million times more energy than the Sun will in its entire 10 billion year lifetime.

This occurred very, very far away, but it was so bright that it was visible to the naked eye. The object's intrinsic brightness is almost inconceivable.

Until March 19th, the farthest object visible to the naked eye was galaxy M33, at a modest 2.9 million light years away. This Gamma Ray burst occurred 7.5 billion light years away - and was visible to the naked eye.

That's 7.5 billion light years.

The universe is only 13 billion light years wide.


This GRB was an object powerful enough to be naked-eye visible from halfway across all Creation.



** (Not quite the same day, but almost exactly 24 hours after the death of Arthur C. Clarke.)
 
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Answers and Replies

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My entire team is very excited. One of us (not me! :biggrin:) had to wake up very early this morning to analyze a radio observation. Unfortunately, I've been too swamped with other things to take a look at it (I analyze X-ray data primarily).
 
Any pictures of when it happened? How long was it visible in the sky for? I would hate to think nobody was looking into the sky when it happened.
 
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Any pictures of when it happened? How long was it visible in the sky for? I would hate to think nobody was looking into the sky when it happened.
Great frame animation: http://grb.fuw.edu.pl/pi/ot/grb080319b/normal.html [Broken]

The gamma-ray burst itself lasted about 60 seconds. The optical observations are actually part of the afterglow, which occurs after the burst.
 
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Was there significant gamma ray radiation found on earth because of this. Obviously this didn't wipe out everything
 
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Was there significant gamma ray radiation found on earth because of this. Obviously this didn't wipe out everything
No, the burst occurred far from us (redshift z = 0.937), and Earth's atmosphere protects us from gamma-rays. High-energy observations are conducted by space-based telescopes.
 

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