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Old 02-18-2005, 01:39 PM   #1
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"the greatest cosmic explosion ever monitored"

Monster star burst was brighter than full Moon: astronomers

Fri Feb 18, 2:23 PM ET

""PARIS (AFP) - Stunned astronomers described the greatest cosmic explosion ever monitored -- a star burst from the other side of the galaxy that was briefly brighter than the full Moon and swamped satellites and telescopes.""

"The high-radiation flash, detected last December 27, caused no harm to Earth but would have literally fried the planet had it occurred within a few light years of home."

"The flare, detected by satellites and telescopes operated by NASA (news - web sites) and Europe, was so powerful that it bounced off the Moon and lit up the Earth's upper atmosphere. For over a tenth of the second, it was actually brighter than a full Moon, and briefly overwhelmed delicate sensors, RAS said."

"Many questions will be thrown up by the event, including the intriguing speculation that the dinosaurs may have been wiped out by a similar, closer gamma-ray explosion 65 million years ago, and not by climate change inflicted by an asteroid impact."

""Had this happened within 10 light years of us, it would have severly damaged our atmosphere and possibly have triggered a mass extinction," said lead-author Gaensler."

"The good news, he noted, is that the nearest known magnetar to Earth, 1E 2259+586, is about 13,000 light years away."


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Old 02-18-2005, 01:41 PM   #2
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It would have affected us 10 light years away? Freaky!

The more we learn about the universe, the more fascinating it is every day.


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Old 02-18-2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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ah cool! thanks for posting this
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Old 02-18-2005, 01:47 PM   #4
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and to think i thought this thread was about what happened after my date a few nights ago ...

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Old 02-18-2005, 01:57 PM   #5
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:20 PM   #6
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Totally cosmic
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:35 PM   #7
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:13 PM   #8
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Wow, a few more light years and we'd be toast from this explosion.

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