View Full Version : Looking Down the Barrel of A Gamma Ray Burst

2008-Mar-04, 04:10 AM
A team of astronomers from the University of Sydney in Australia have been keeping an eye on a binary star system called Wolf-Rayet 104, located in the constellation Sagittarius. Wolf-Rayet stars are hot, gargantuan, older stars that are losing their masses, and astronomers consider these stars as ticking bombs: they could go supernova [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2008/03/03/looking-down-the-barrel-of-a-gamma-ray-burst/)

2008-Mar-04, 04:12 AM
I just got a chill down my spine.

2008-Mar-04, 04:35 AM
BA Blog: WR 104: A nearby gamma-ray burst? (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/03/03/wr-104-a-nearby-gamma-ray-burst/)

To wrap up: WR 104 is an interesting system. Both stars are guaranteed to explode one day. If they are just regular old supernovae, then we are in no danger at all, because they are way way too far away to hurt us (a regular supernova has to be about 25 light years or closer to hurt us, and WR 104 is 300 times farther away than that). It is possible that one of the stars may explode as a GRB, and itís possible itís aimed at us, but we donít know. And we donít know exactly what effects it would have on us. So if itís less than 10,000 years from exploding and if it blows up as a GRB and if itís aimed at us and if there isnít much junk between us and it, then yeah, we may have a problem. But thatís an awful lot of ifs.