Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Explosions in the Sky: Supernovae Imminent?
SpaceRef ^ | 09/30/2004 | NASA

Posted on 10/01/2004 12:59:05 PM PDT by cogitator

After a Trio of Explosions Scientists say Supernova is Imminent

Three powerful recent blasts from three wholly different regions in space have left scientists scrambling. The blasts, which lasted only a few seconds, might be early alert systems for star explosions called supernovae, which could start appearing any day.

The first two blasts, called X-ray flashes, occurred on September 12 and 16. These were followed by a more powerful burst on September 24. The burst seems to be on the cusp between an X-ray flash and a full-fledged gamma ray burst, a discovery interesting in its own right. If these signals lead to supernovae, as expected, scientists would have a tool to predict star explosions, and researchers could watch explosions from start to finish.

A team led by Dr. George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, detected the explosions with NASA's High-Energy Transient Explorer (HETE- 2). Science teams around the world, using space- and ground- based observatories, have joined in, torn and conflicted over which burst region to track most closely.

"Each burst has been beautiful," Ricker said. "Depending on how these evolve, they could support important theories about supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. These past two weeks have been like 'cock, fire, reload.' Nature keeps on delivering, and our HETE-2 satellite keeps on responding flawlessly," he said."

Gamma ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known other than the Big Bang. Many appear to be caused by the death of a massive star collapsing into a black hole. Others might be from merging black holes or neutron stars. In either case, the event likely produces twin, narrow jets in opposite directions, which carry off tremendous amounts of energy. If one of jets points to Earth, we see this energy as a gamma ray burst.

The lower-energy X-ray flashes might be gamma ray bursts viewed slightly off angle from the jet direction, somewhat similar to how a flashlight is less blinding when viewed at an angle. The majority of light particles from X-ray flashes, called photons, are X-rays, energetic, but not quite as powerful as gamma rays. Both types of bursts last only a few milliseconds to about a minute. HETE-2 detects the bursts, studies their properties, and provides a location, so other observatories can study the burst afterglow in detail.

The trio of bursts from the past few weeks has the potential of settling two long-standing debates. Some scientists say X- ray flashes are different beasts all together, not related to gamma-ray bursts and massive star explosions. Detecting a supernova in the region where the X-ray flash appeared would refute that belief, instead confirming the connection between the two. Follow-up observations of the September 24 burst, named GRB040924 for the date it was observed, are already solidifying the theory of a cosmic explosion continuum from X-ray flashes up through gamma ray bursts.

More interesting for supernova hunters is the fact X-ray flashes are closer to Earth than gamma ray bursts. While the connection between gamma ray bursts and supernovae has been made, these supernovae are too distant to study in detail. X- ray flashes might be signals for supernovae; scientists can actually sink their teeth into and observe in detail.

"Last year HETE-2 sealed the connection between gamma ray bursts and massive supernovae," said Prof. Stanford Woosley of the University of California at Santa Cruz, who has championed several theories concerning the physics of star explosions. "These two September bursts may be the first time we see an X-ray flash lead to a supernova."

"We all expect much more of this type of exciting science to come after the launch of Swift," said Dr. Anne Kinney, director of NASA's Universe Division. The Swift spacecraft, scheduled to launch no earlier than late October, contains three telescopes (gamma ray, X-ray and UV/optical) for quick burst detection and immediate follow-up observations of the afterglow.

HETE was built by MIT as a mission of opportunity under the NASA Explorer Program. It was built in collaboration among U.S. universities, Los Alamos National Laboratory, N.M., scientists and organizations in Brazil, France, India, Italy and Japan.

For information about HETE results and related animations on the Internet, visit: http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2004/0930grb.html


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; catastrophism; champaignsupernova; explosions; gammaray; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; space; stars; supernova; wereallgonnadie; xray
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-147 next last
OK, all together now:

It's Bush's fault.

The timing is suspicious.

1 posted on 10/01/2004 12:59:05 PM PDT by cogitator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Quick! Did Bush reduce spending on NASA last year?

HURRY!!!!


2 posted on 10/01/2004 12:59:59 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever ("...upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Well we've really done it now. Universe warming, damned SUV's.


3 posted on 10/01/2004 1:01:12 PM PDT by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

They don't say the direction or distance. A supernova too close would fry the Earth. Looks like it's time for a shower...


4 posted on 10/01/2004 1:01:26 PM PDT by TopDog2 (No tagline today...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Haliburton. Haliburton. Haliburton.


5 posted on 10/01/2004 1:01:28 PM PDT by Kokojmudd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Where's my Reynolds Extra Strength?


6 posted on 10/01/2004 1:01:40 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kokojmudd

No wonder Kerry is orange.


7 posted on 10/01/2004 1:02:14 PM PDT by gortklattu (check out thotline dot com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: cogitator
I bet Bush is regretting he pulled us out of Kyoto now. Surely that would have prevented such an event.
8 posted on 10/01/2004 1:03:24 PM PDT by SaveTheChief ("It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech." - Senator Zell Miller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Dang it! I just bought some green bananas.


9 posted on 10/01/2004 1:04:48 PM PDT by OSHA (It's a WAR not a wedge issue. They are AMERICAN SOLDIERS not petty pawns.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

It was a signal to Mount St. Helens and all the other Pacific Rim insurgents to begin phase 2 of the plan to take back the planet. The end is, indeed, near...


10 posted on 10/01/2004 1:04:58 PM PDT by Hatteras
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

A series of earthquakes in California; hurricanes in Florida; Mt. St. Helens about to erupt; a near-miss with a killer asteroid the other day; and now the sky is exploding. What's up?


11 posted on 10/01/2004 1:05:35 PM PDT by My2Cents (http://www.conservativesforbush.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Will they be visible?


12 posted on 10/01/2004 1:06:12 PM PDT by redgolum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OSHA
Dang it! I just bought some green bananas.

lololol

13 posted on 10/01/2004 1:06:49 PM PDT by eyespysomething (Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: OSHA

"Dang it! I just bought some green bananas"

Yup, Copenhagen in keyboard moment here... thx!


14 posted on 10/01/2004 1:08:23 PM PDT by Hard Way (Razor nothin'. I'm firing up Occam's Chain Saw)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: cogitator; All

Luckily it is far away.... Boy Bush is destroying the universe.


15 posted on 10/01/2004 1:09:44 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Let the meek inherit the Earth, the rest of us will explore the stars!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

I know that Betelgeuse (upper left in constellation Orion) is about to blow. But "about to" is in cosmic terms - could be now, could be a thousand years from now.


16 posted on 10/01/2004 1:09:57 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Quick! Somebody do a GLOBAL TEST!!!!


17 posted on 10/01/2004 1:10:13 PM PDT by hsrazorback1 (G'night, John Boy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

It's probably just DARPA doing some testing on our new secret stealth Death Star.


18 posted on 10/01/2004 1:10:23 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

mark


19 posted on 10/01/2004 1:11:29 PM PDT by Finny (God continue to Bless President G.W. Bush with wisdom, popularity, and victory.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Umm...

Corporate special interests at work!!! <---<< liberal down the street


20 posted on 10/01/2004 1:11:46 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

This wouldn't be happening if we had consulted with the UN.


21 posted on 10/01/2004 1:12:05 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (cong rec 27.3.86 jk speech doubleplusungood malreported cambodia rectify)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne

What tha article isn't real clear on is that these stars are in other galaxies.


22 posted on 10/01/2004 1:14:13 PM PDT by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: SaveTheChief

See, Kerry was right. Bush should have signed the Kyoto treaty and we could have avoided all these super novae, hurricanes, earth quakes, volcanoes, terrorists, car accidents, diaper rash and paper cuts.

Kerry’s slogan “Everything is Bush’s fault but I could do it better.”


23 posted on 10/01/2004 1:15:25 PM PDT by tractorman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: redgolum
Will they be visible?

I'd like to know, too! The article doesn't indicate if they are intra-galactic (in our galaxy) or extra-galactic.

24 posted on 10/01/2004 1:15:59 PM PDT by cogitator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Physicist; PatrickHenry; longshadow; Aracelis; RightWingAtheist; Doctor Stochastic; ...

ping


25 posted on 10/01/2004 1:16:04 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry

For your science list...


26 posted on 10/01/2004 1:16:11 PM PDT by Dementon (I hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

They must have more and bigger SUV's in those other Galaxies.


27 posted on 10/01/2004 1:17:16 PM PDT by matchwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

I expect that the star Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion will erupt into a spectacular supernova sometime soon (soon in galactic terms which could be anytime between now and 10000 years from now). If it did it would be 100 times the brightness of the full moon.


28 posted on 10/01/2004 1:17:33 PM PDT by RockinRight (W stands for whoop-a**!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RadioAstronomer

Ping


29 posted on 10/01/2004 1:17:40 PM PDT by LasVegasMac (John Kerry says he has changed his mind about all those NO votes in the Senate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne

Whoops you beat me to it!


30 posted on 10/01/2004 1:17:59 PM PDT by RockinRight (W stands for whoop-a**!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: cogitator
It's the damn Vogon Constructor Fleet. We better grab our towels and get off this rock!
31 posted on 10/01/2004 1:19:11 PM PDT by 50sDad ( ST3d - Star Trek Tri-D Chess! http://my.oh.voyager.net/~abartmes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LasVegasMac; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; Calpernia

Thanks for the ping,

ping. :-)


32 posted on 10/01/2004 1:19:49 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: cogitator
The first two blasts, called X-ray flashes, occurred on September 12 and 16. These were followed by a more powerful burst on September 24.

OK, well that explains how this showed up on my office door:

Now, does anyone know if Elmers Glue can be used to keep my teeth from falling out?

33 posted on 10/01/2004 1:21:07 PM PDT by LTCJ (CBS, all your Boyd Cycles are belong to us.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RadioAstronomer
Are the X-rays which the article discusses produced in supernova precursor events? I don't see how X-rays could propagate faster than visible light.
34 posted on 10/01/2004 1:21:22 PM PDT by Chemist_Geek ("Drill, R&D, and conserve" should be our watchwords! Energy independence for America!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: RadioAstronomer

Thanks for the ping!


35 posted on 10/01/2004 1:21:32 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: RockinRight
I expect that the star Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion will erupt into a spectacular supernova sometime soon (soon in galactic terms which could be anytime between now and 10000 years from now). If it did it would be 100 times the brightness of the full moon.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. C-beams glittering in the dark by the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain." -Blade Runner- :-)

36 posted on 10/01/2004 1:22:19 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Chemist_Geek
I don't see how X-rays could propagate faster than visible light.

They cannot. In fact, X-rays are EM just at a higher frequency than visible EM (light).

37 posted on 10/01/2004 1:23:49 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: cogitator
We're doomed!

38 posted on 10/01/2004 1:24:34 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Dan Rather's got to go!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

We need the Super Twins to activate into form of bucket and water to take this dreaded supernova on.


39 posted on 10/01/2004 1:25:12 PM PDT by conrad metcalf 42
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paleo Conservative

Women and children hit hardest!

I always wanted to post that! LOL


40 posted on 10/01/2004 1:26:27 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: RadioAstronomer

I wonder how I can fit in "a moose bit my sister"!

Sigh! Guess not yet.


41 posted on 10/01/2004 1:27:25 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: sheik yerbouty

You might want to get the non-stick Reynolds...


42 posted on 10/01/2004 1:27:57 PM PDT by Antoninus II
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Clearly an october surprise is in the offing. Rove has figured out a way to have multiple stars supernova in a pattern that lights up the sky with: BUSH'04


43 posted on 10/01/2004 1:28:27 PM PDT by drangundsturm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

Looks like SG1 took out a couple of Go'ould systems.


44 posted on 10/01/2004 1:30:55 PM PDT by ThinkDifferent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: My2Cents

Near miss with a killer asteroid? I missed that one.


45 posted on 10/01/2004 1:33:01 PM PDT by TwoWolves (The only kind of control the liberals don't want is self control.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: NRA2BFree
A volcanic eruption and now three supernovae?

Fun stuff.

46 posted on 10/01/2004 1:33:55 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cogitator

It's the end of the planet Krypton.


47 posted on 10/01/2004 1:34:06 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ThinkDifferent

They say the first one is always the hardest...


48 posted on 10/01/2004 1:34:32 PM PDT by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: cogitator
a full-fledged gamma ray burst

This I understand ,is what the world will witness when we use our soon-to-be-developed 'nuclear tipped bunker busting bombs' when we take out the entire Bekaa Valley in the near future.(Well, I can certainly wish, can't I? LOL)

49 posted on 10/01/2004 1:35:16 PM PDT by Pagey ("How did Hillary Clinton become a Senator"? Have you ever asked yourself that question?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OSHA

HAHAAHAHAahahaha.... that's just SICK... HAHAhahhaahhha...


50 posted on 10/01/2004 1:37:17 PM PDT by Hi Heels (Proud to be a Pajamarazzi.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-147 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson