View Full Version : Discussion: Are We Safe from Gamma Ray Bursts?

2003-Sep-17, 10:29 PM
SUMMARY: Gamma ray bursts (or GRBs) are the most powerful known explosions in the Universe. Although astronomers aren't exactly sure what causes them, they're somehow linked to supernovae explosions - it could be the formation of a black hole after the supernova explodes. When a GRB goes off, it funnels a tremendous amount of energy into two lighthouse-like beams that would probably vaporize anything out to 200 light-years away. Fortunately there aren't any stars in our galactic neighborhood that has the potential to explode as a supernova, so we're probably safe from such an event, but astronomers will keep looking… just to be sure.

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imported_Neil Armstrong
2003-Sep-18, 03:57 AM
I've heard different figures for this one. Some astronomers say it could even reach up to 500 light years if the burst is extremely powerful, and even if we weren't vaporized the rays would probably still damage our atmosphere and expose us to high levels of radiation.

2003-Sep-19, 01:50 AM
Well, that would take away the needs for night lights heh. You'd be your own portable walking one!