mages from Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical (white, purple) and X-ray telescopes (yellow and red) were combined in this view of GRB 110328A. The blast was detected only in X-rays, which were collected over a 3.4-hour period on March 28. Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler

Space Telescopes Observe Unprecedented Explosion

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

by

[/caption]

From a NASA press release:

NASA’s Swift, Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory have teamed up to study one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts yet observed. More than a week later, high-energy radiation continues to brighten and fade from its location.

Astronomers say they have never seen anything this bright, long-lasting and variable before. Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, but flaring emission from these events never lasts more than a few hours.

Although research is ongoing, astronomers say that the unusual blast likely arose when a star wandered too close to its galaxy’s central black hole. Intense tidal forces tore the star apart, and the infalling gas continues to stream toward the hole. According to this model, the spinning black hole formed an outflowing jet along its rotational axis. A powerful blast of X- and gamma rays is seen if this jet is pointed in our direction.

On March 28, Swift’s Burst Alert Telescope discovered the source in the constellation Draco when it erupted with the first in a series of powerful X-ray blasts. The satellite determined a position for the explosion, now cataloged as gamma-ray burst (GRB) 110328A, and informed astronomers worldwide.

This is a visible-light image of GRB 110328A's host galaxy (arrow) taken on April 4 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3. The galaxy is 3.8 billion light-years away. Credit: NASA/ESA/A. Fruchter (STScI)

As dozens of telescopes turned to study the spot, astronomers quickly noticed that a small, distant galaxy appeared very near the Swift position. A deep image taken by Hubble on April 4 pinpoints the source of the explosion at the center of this galaxy, which lies 3.8 billion light-years away.

That same day, astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to make a four-hour-long exposure of the puzzling source. The image, which locates the object 10 times more precisely than Swift can, shows that it lies at the center of the galaxy Hubble imaged.

“We know of objects in our own galaxy that can produce repeated bursts, but they are thousands to millions of times less powerful than the bursts we are seeing now. This is truly extraordinary,” said Andrew Fruchter at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory completed this four-hour exposure of GRB 110328A on April 4. The center of the X-ray source corresponds to the very center of the host galaxy imaged by Hubble (red cross). Credit: NASA/CXC/ Warwick/A. Levan

“We have been eagerly awaiting the Hubble observation,” said Neil Gehrels, the lead scientist for Swift at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “The fact that the explosion occurred in the center of a galaxy tells us it is most likely associated with a massive black hole. This solves a key question about the mysterious event.”

Most galaxies, including our own, contain central black holes with millions of times the sun’s mass; those in the largest galaxies can be a thousand times larger. The disrupted star probably succumbed to a black hole less massive than the Milky Way’s, which has a mass four million times that of our sun

Astronomers previously have detected stars disrupted by supermassive black holes, but none have shown the X-ray brightness and variability seen in GRB 110328A. The source has repeatedly flared. Since April 3, for example, it has brightened by more than five times.

Scientists think that the X-rays may be coming from matter moving near the speed of light in a particle jet that forms as the star’s gas falls toward the black hole.

“The best explanation at the moment is that we happen to be looking down the barrel of this jet,” said Andrew Levan at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, who led the Chandra observations. “When we look straight down these jets, a brightness boost lets us view details we might otherwise miss.”

This brightness increase, which is called relativistic beaming, occurs when matter moving close to the speed of light is viewed nearly head on.

Astronomers plan additional Hubble observations to see if the galaxy’s core changes brightness.

For more information see this NASA press release.

, , ,



Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 4:24 PM

The ray-like structures remind me a bit of the filamentation in the Glowing Eye Nebula nebulae and the Cartwheel Nebula, see: (http://) goo.gl/VQa6z which in turn reminds me of a dense plasma focus, noted by others, see the peer-reviewed paper:

Milanese, M.M.; et al, “Filaments in the Sheath Evolution of the Dense Plasma Focus as Applied to Intense Auroral Observations”, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, (Aug. 2007), Volume: 35 Issue:4, page(s): 808 – 812. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPS.2007.897483

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 4:37 PM

Sigh. Even more gobbledygook by the master of the irrelevant.
Great. Here we have an unrelated IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science is NOT a proper astrophysical paper!!!!
Peer review by electricians is like comparing fish riding bicycles. I.e. Aurora and supernovae, eh? Now, really. Stating a range of eighteen degrees of freedom is like believing in fairy-dust and Peter Pan! “I do believe in fairies. I do, I do”

It a’int even relevant to the science, sunshine! It complete and utter nonsense!

What’s worst, is that you already know it! Bah!

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 7, 2011 8:44 PM

The way you put that it almost sounds like the old Firesign Theatre LP, “Waiting for the Electrician… or Someone Like Him”. Maybe even the Sherlock Holmes parody “The Tail of the Giant Rat of Sumatra” which has “The Electrician” as one of the staring characters. If these references do not sound like anything you have heard then you are to be envied friend, because Dear Friends you get to hear all these for the First Time.

Mike C

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 9:30 PM

More like a Anton Chekov play, methinks. To quote Chekov;

“No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand… Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.”

Seems like he’s got it in one. Ich sterbe… (I really wish this guy would!)

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 4:59 PM
The image actually looks like something like what a kindergarden child might draw for a star, or one of those star knives like Japanese ninjas use, It could also be manufactured by the telescope spider or even perhaps a new trendy corporate logo. I know! I know! You are absolutely right! It looks like ray-structure from some dense plasma focus! Quick throw out all your now antiquated physics, astronomy and astrophysics books; plasma cosmology and the electric universe now rules. Make sure all you lost astronomers and astrophysicists from now on subscribe to the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, and dump all those other tawdry publications. All the answers are there. We have all be so foolish not… Read more »
Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 7, 2011 5:25 PM

“The ray-like structures….”

I could be wrong (please let me know if so) but I think the ray-like structures in the top image are instrumental artifacts from the imager on Swift. Calling Don Alexander……smile

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 5:30 PM

That was my first thought, except that in the article, Andrew Levan at the University of Warwick said that “The best explanation at the moment is that we happen to be looking down the barrel of this jet”. But another view would be useful.

Don Alexander
Member
Don Alexander
April 7, 2011 9:26 PM
You called?? ^^ Jon is completely right. all we are seeing is the special PSF-shape of the Swift XRT in a case where it has observed large amounts of X-rays in so-called Photon Counting mode. Anyone who has ever seen the optical image of a bright, possibly saturated star should know that the optics tent to spread out the light, possibly create cross-shaped beams (resulting from the bars that hold the secondary mirror), or other diffraction artifacts or even CCD blooming if “the cup runneth over”. All this stuff has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the actual shape or extent of the star, which is still a milliarcsecond point source!! And pretty much exactly the same is… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 10:09 PM

I think Jon had wrote this at the same time as I was writing my text below; (April 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm)
I.e. “Optical Design & Engineering : Advances in ray-tracing techniques for multiple-aperture telescopes” http://spie.org/x23643.xml?ArticleID=x23643
It shows the generation of a similar PSF-shapes.
Just saying.

Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 7, 2011 11:15 PM

Thanks for the reply Don. The artifact sure looked familiar (see my Google Image link below).

Sal, right indeed, I missed your post (& thanks for the SPIE link, enjoyed the read on x-ray optics).

As for the event itself, I’ll be interested to see a writeup on these observations once they’re analyzed. Neat stuff!

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
April 7, 2011 10:48 PM

I would tend to agree. This looks like some sort of aperature effect.

LC

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
April 8, 2011 3:16 PM

That was what I surmised, but I believe my will to live on (in the comments) got an electric shock and fled to an alternate plasma universe. :-/

And the eternal question lurked, “if a troll comments on the web and no one is around to reply, does it make a wave?”

Glad you guys fight for science though!

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 5:27 PM

Do I note a tinge of sarcasm. No surprise when other scientists are equally puzzled. Of course plasma scientists have nothing useful to add. Why should a paper published in a peer-reviewed plasma science journal have any relevance to a universe where 99.999% of what’s visible is made of plasma.

Where else can you look down the barrel of a [particle] jet? A plasma gun of course, another name for the dense plasma focus.

Do I expect you to take me seriously? Of course not, how should I expect an anonymous individual who claims to put science first, to behave. It means you don’t have to (or are unable to) bother with any science.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 5:59 PM

Sarcasm? What! Your kidding me.
Also my expensive big plasma TV has heaps of plasma in it I hear, but it doesn’t produce patterns like your are currently imagining.
Our visible universe is 99.999% plasma. Wow! Well that might just explain why at night the sky appears so darn dark. As there seems so much space in the entire universe, where there is no bright plasma or plasma at all, then all this plasma must make only a very tiny fraction compared to the volume of the entire universe? Now I’m puzzled!

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
April 8, 2011 3:37 PM
That is all sorts of fallacies round up in one, but mostly begging the question. The question is if plasma is relevant to parts of the universe, and the claim here is based on the assumption that it is relevant to parts of the universe. This is setting aside the point that we may be discussing different parts of the universe. It is also setting aside the not small point that we already have the prediction from properties of astronomical observatories, tested many times over. Also, it is using argument from repetition, since the unwarranted assumption has been raised in about every PU thread to date. Also, it is special pleading in the form of “appeal to inflation”… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
April 8, 2011 3:48 PM

Actually, EESE’s comment on the visible universe puts the same inflation and irrelevancy of plasma for cosmology in a more basic box. Nice!

Olaf
Member
Olaf
April 8, 2011 7:21 PM

No, you “summised” the conclusion based on the word “aren’t”. People can judge other statements for themselves, referring to the peer-reviewed citations I gave.

Where exactly is this 99.999% plasma located?
You even fail to grasp this concept of what the original claim of 99.999% really means.

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 8:41 AM

Then please explain, I am sure others are interested.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 9, 2011 10:24 AM

If you can’t even explain it, then how the hell do you expect everyone else?
Dud science, is exactly that, dud science! You’ve got it wrapped up in spades, brother!

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 12:30 PM

I stand by the statement that our visible universe is 99.999% plasma. If you agree with Olaf, then why not add something constructive, and explain what you think the “original claim” means. I do not know what Olaf is criticising. I’m not going to guess when you can both just state it. I might even agree with you.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 5:31 PM
Hey resident expert iantresman! Do you know how X-ray telescopes work and what kinds of diffraction patterns they produce? I hear you are a chemist, so I’d properly assume you know something about X-ray diffraction techniques that can be applied in chemistry for detecting atomic crystalline lattices by crystallography. Perhaps you could enlighten us on their observed ray-like structures? Do these, too, remind you of some dense plasma focus, too? Do you want a peer-reviewed reference for this too to prove my point? Let’s see. How about this article “Optical Design & Engineering : Advances in ray-tracing techniques for multiple-aperture telescopes” http://spie.org/x23643.xml?ArticleID=x23643 Look at the image of the so-called polychromatic point-spread function (PSF). Does this remind you of… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 5:44 PM
Diffraction patterns produced by an x-ray telescope, while they may superficially look like a rayed object, aren’t. By the say, I am neither a chemist, nor an electrician. What qualifications contribute to your expertise? Personal theories are not allowed here. But I note another paper which suggest that astrophysical jets may have something to do with the physics of plasma guns, see: Contopoulos, J., “A Simple Type of Magnetically Driven Jets: an Astrophysical Plasma Gun“, Astrophysical Journal v.450, p.616 (available online in full). But wait, there must be a mistake. It’s authored by a NASA researcher, and published in an astrophysics journal. And then there is: Bostick, W. H., “Simulation of Astrophysical Processes in the Laboratory”, Nature 179,… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 6:22 PM

“By the say, I am neither a chemist, nor an electrician.”
You are either a liar or con artist aren’t you?
Your linked site, says; “…I also have a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of East Anglia,…” http://www.plasma-universe.com/index.php/User:Iantresman
That would make you a chemist, don’t you think?

If you can’t even admit that as a decent person, then everything else you say here is really quite irrelevant.

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 8:19 PM

I never denied a degree in chemistry. That doesn’t make me a chemist. On the other hand, if you’re suggesting that I need only a degree in astronomy to become an astronomer, then I might be tempted.

Do you have any qualifications to speak of?

DrFlimmer
Member
DrFlimmer
April 7, 2011 8:26 PM

What? I have a degree (that is to say two – a B.Sc. and a M.Sc.) in Astrophysics, so, yeah, I consider myself an Astrophysicist, especially since I had to do one research each (both dealing with radiation spectra of blazars, which is also the topic of my Ph.D. work I’ve begun last year).

How did you get a degree in Chemistry without doing any form of research? Or is the university system of your country (I assume America) so much different from the German system?

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 6:54 PM
Wow. Now you want to rely on some 1957 Bostick paper to prove some phenomena observed in 2011! All this is some divine unquestionable proof. Frankly, what you say is all quite ludicrous and irrelevant if you ask me. As for the diffractions produced by X-ray telescopes, you’re reply here means we can only surmise you don’t know. (Just saying “aren’t” really proves my point.) You do realise this object is 3.8 billion light years away? Clearly the source of the emissions at this distance is just an unresolvable point source. (How big do you reckon the ‘spikes’ are in arc seconds.) As we always seem to be able to show, again and again, you’re quite out of… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 6:56 PM

Correction: As for the diffractions produced by X-ray telescopes, your reply here means we can only surmise you don’t know. (Just saying “aren’t” really proves my point.)

DrFlimmer
Member
DrFlimmer
April 7, 2011 8:08 PM

(Disclaimer: If anyone does not get the irony of the following, he/she shouldn’t read it. Just sayin’.)

Oh, Salacious, how dare you? We all know that redshift has nothing to do with distance, so how can we know it is 3.8 billion ly away? Could also be just on our doorstep. What about a death-ray-plasma-gun from some freakin’ aliens trying to destroy the earth?

Olaf
Member
Olaf
April 8, 2011 6:56 PM

I made no such claim, but that’s funny, like quoting the Bible and suggesting that it proves the existence of a deity.

Actually your promotion of EU is exactly the same way how creationists are trying to push their ideas. Quote mining is one such an example.

You are the scientific equivalent as the creationist.

DrFlimmer
Member
DrFlimmer
April 7, 2011 6:17 PM

These rays are just an artifact of the telescope. The jet is too bright, causing these artifacts. Like these 4-rayed stars on Hubble images. Nothing to worry about.

Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 7, 2011 8:34 PM

Well, I seem to remember other imagery from the Swift XRT (generated by GRBs, not nuclear jets in galaxies) that appear similar:

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-USeekfficial&gbv=2&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=FBueTd2gN4XWgQeqt4jMDw&ved=0CDMQBSgA&q=grb+swift+x+ray&spell=1&biw=1000&bih=478

(also no sign of ‘rays’ in the higher-res image taken by CXO a few days after the initial Swift detection on 28 March. Too late? Wrong wavelength?) grin

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 8:52 PM

I have no problem if the ray-like spokes turn out to be artifacts, though their absence does not disprove the dense plasma focus model.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 9:09 PM

You can’t wiggle out of this one this time…

All you just prove your initial argument was to create a very deliberate and fraudulent premise to fool others.

Also using your own specious arguments… It also does not prove “the dense plasma model” either.

As we all know; a half-truth by you is no better than a lie.

Let’s see; You say “By the say, I am neither a chemist, nor an electrician.” Then you say; “I never denied a degree in chemistry. That doesn’t make me a chemist.”

No. You are absolutely right. It just makes you look like a bloody fool!

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 9:22 PM

Do you really understand proof in science, or do you deliberately misapply it to anything I write? I have nothing to worry about if your best argument is claim people are lying and call them names.

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 10:32 PM

>You are only doing this to avoiding scrutiny

I gave up chemistry after finishing my degree. I am not a chemist. Just like yourself, anybody can check my background on the web, it is not hidden.

But thank you for continuing to feel the need to insult me, it can’t be easy hiding behind an inscrutable pseudonym from an inscrutable ivory tower. Who’s avoiding scrutiny?

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 8, 2011 3:36 AM
It is not me making the unfounded comments. You actually made the assertion, it was not me. Also who here is feeding out all this EU/PC garbage. Again, it is not me, now is it? If you cannot defend your own written words, that isn’t my problem. As for the chemistry stuff, all I said; “I hear you are a chemist, so I’d properly assume you know something about X-ray diffraction techniques that can be applied in chemistry for detecting atomic crystalline lattices by crystallography.” I then said “Perhaps you could enlighten us on their observed ray-like structures? Do these, too, remind you of some dense plasma focus, too?” If you has done chemistry, as you say, your… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 9:50 PM
Again from your very own words, Let’s see; You say ; “By the say, I am neither a chemist, nor an electrician.” Then you say; “I never denied a degree in chemistry. That doesn’t make me a chemist.” and yet you now also say; “Yes there was research in my British chemistry degree.” To deny you are a chemist when you have been trained in chemistry proves either that you are quite deluded or a liar. I was actually saying. If you have a degree in chemistry, you should know something about X-ray diffraction. Why therefore would any sane person avoid it, eh? You are only doing this to avoiding scrutiny for your deliberate purpose of tricking others… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 10:32 PM

>You are only doing this to avoiding scrutiny

I gave up chemistry after finishing my degree. I am not a chemist. Just like yourself, anybody can check my background on the web, it is not hidden.

But thank you for continuing to feel the need to insult me, it can’t be easy hiding behind an inscrutable pseudonym from an inscrutable ivory tower. Who’s avoiding scrutiny?

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
April 7, 2011 4:31 PM

If a supernova is the death scream of a star, what was observed here amounts to pure torture.

Poor little star.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
April 7, 2011 4:34 PM

Which would have been fun, if not the thread was already filled with our own prolonged torture. My excuses for not updating and adding hurt to harm! :-/

DrFlimmer
Member
DrFlimmer
April 7, 2011 6:20 PM

At least, this was a short kind of torture. Galactic X-ray binaries, like the famous Cygnus X-1, contain lightweight black holes that only suck on the star like on a straw. It’s the very same process but much slower.. THAT’S what I call torture. wink

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 8:48 PM
@ Mr. iantresman’s first comment; Actually,, according to the NASA source, the rays are 1 arcsec long (1/60th of one degree). At 3.8 billion light years, how long are the rays do you think? The answer is about 1 million light years. Using the diameter of the rays, the object would have to be 2 to 4 million light years across. The Milky Way is only just 100,000 light years across. This object would then have to be the size of the some known galaxy clusters! Again. If the object were this size, then how does “events never lasts more than a few hours.” I.e. It is totally impossible for an object or explosion this size appear a… Read more »
Don Alexander
Member
Don Alexander
April 7, 2011 9:49 PM

“Actually,, according to the NASA source, the rays are 1 arcsec long (1/60th of one degree).”

That’s completely wrong…

Though, if I may correct it, it just proves your point even more. A single PIXEL of XRT is already 2.36 arcseconds large (http://www.swift.psu.edu/xrt/techDescription.html), so obviously, those rays are like 100 arcseconds long…

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 9:58 PM

My error. i meant 1 arcmin NOT 1 arcsec.
The point was that the rays could not be part of object at that large distant and show phenomena changing over several hours.
The length of the bar in the NASA figure is 1 arcmin. By eye, I simply adjudged the rough size of each ray.

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 10:12 PM

And even further supporting the point, I assumed that the rays were not radial, but angled towards the viewer and parallel with the jet (which would be odd because the ray width appears constant)

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 9:37 PM

Crumb wrote: “You would be foolish to pretend anything else.”

I think you’ll find that an arcsec is 1/3600th of a degree.

But thank you for a fairly sensible response, which I will graciously note, was probably a typo on your behalf; the article image is labelled 1 arcmin, and you have correctly used 1/60th of a degree in your calculations.

iantresman
Member
April 7, 2011 9:53 PM

Don Alexander has confirmed above that the ray-like spokes are artifacts of the image. While they still remind me of a dense plasma focus, they clearly have nothing to with the device, and nothing can be inferred from them, or the dense plasma focus.

Don Alexander
Member
Don Alexander
April 7, 2011 10:07 PM
And just to repeat this in case someone missed it above: All we are seeing is the special PSF-shape of the Swift XRT in a case where it has observed large amounts of X-rays in so-called Photon Counting mode. Anyone who has ever seen the optical image of a bright, possibly saturated star should know that the optics tent to spread out the light, possibly create cross-shaped beams (resulting from the bars that hold the secondary mirror), or other diffraction artifacts or even CCD blooming if “the cup runneth over”. All this stuff has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the actual shape or extent of the star, which is still a milliarcsecond point source!! And pretty much… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 7, 2011 11:40 PM

This story has to be a UT record.

Fifty-one (51) comments in a little less than 4.5 hours!!

(Nancy. I’d probably delete the lot, except for perhaps Don’s and Jon Hanford contributions! Thankx!)

Aqua4U
Member
April 8, 2011 1:41 AM

Mano man… I’d really have to be bored stiff to read all these comments. You guys are too much!

Meanwhile…. that’s a pretty zingy firecracker to be seen at 3.8 billion light-years away!

damian
Member
April 8, 2011 11:11 AM
Wow, so this is a star being swallowed up by a singularity or a function of a galaxy we have yet to theorize upon. I look forward to the theoretical conjectures that are sure to follow these observations. Considering the size and variability of the universe we can observe I often wonder that we don’t see unique events more often. But then it does rather bring into focus the immense scale and distance in time that we are dealing with. 3.8 billion light-years is a LONG time ago. When this explosion happened, the earth was being pounded by what is refereed to as the late heavy bombardment. Defining the landscapes of our solar systems planets and moons. I… Read more »
Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 8, 2011 2:36 PM
While most of the researchers commenting on the origin of this outburst discuss a stellar disruption by a SMBH at the center of this galaxy (or a smaller BH near the galaxy’s nucleus), Stan Woosley (UCSC) has another alternative. According to Dr. Woosley “…the event might be explained by the gravitational collapse of a giant star into a black hole, a scaled-up version of the process that usually produces a gamma-ray burst. In [his] scenario, the core of the giant star collapses to form a black hole but it takes days for the outer layers to fall in and emit radiation, accounting for the unusually long duration of the observed explosion.” I’ve heard this mechanism invoked before to… Read more »
TrampySkank
Member
TrampySkank
April 8, 2011 9:01 PM

All of the conclusions are fallacious. How do you account for the fluctuation in the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

DrFlimmer
Member
DrFlimmer
April 8, 2011 9:06 PM

Is that a European or an African swallow? grin

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 9, 2011 2:43 AM

Giggle!

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 8, 2011 11:04 PM
@ Catamarion — (if you need any of the TLA explained just ask) — Do you really want all of us reading here to take your words at face value? Are you sure of what you say? So, BHs “generate energy & matter; they are downsteppers of higher dimensional energy” greater than 3D energy I guess is what you imply here, or tell me I am wrong in that assumption. I’ll call that >3D->EM to make word management a tad easier herein. Any energy ‘generated” inside a BH stays there, any energy generating mass falling past the EH will have the energy also falling past the EH. The only things able to escape the infall of a BH… Read more »
DrFlimmer
Member
DrFlimmer
April 9, 2011 9:37 AM
Lars, thanks for the giggle. Do you have any source for what you said above? And I demand a source that contains clear calculations on a clear basis and that makes predictions that the source is, indeed, “electrical” in nature. Since you are attacking “MA” it is YOU who needs to prove his point. So do it! Just by making long statements you prove nothing! Btw: Magnetic and electric fields behave according to Maxwell’s equations. I think you won’t dispute that. And these equations permit that the source terms on the right hand side can be zero (the charge density, the current density and the displacement current can, of course, be zero!). Therefore we can build an equation… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
April 9, 2011 12:15 PM

Good point. And this is needed, because otherwise you couldn’t have intrinsic magnetic moments of elementary particles (electrons, say).

Apparently in PU physics there are very few of the Standard model particles we see – and specifically no particles of electric charge or current!

What a wondrous universe indeed. But not ours.

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
April 9, 2011 12:19 PM

I think the intellectual content of these discussions suffers when we get into these flame wars. I do think the UT writers of these blog entries should remove comment posts that are theory mongering, such as the EU/PC stuff. Recent entries by the wag promoting “pan-theory” and other such nonstandard and substandard conjectures should be removed. Unfortunately UT seems to be a main target of the plasma mongers, where BTW it is my experience these guys often have little actual knowledge of basic electromagnetism and less on plasma physics, and that this stuff is a quirky phys-ideology based loosely on physics that is largely wrong and outdated.

LC

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 1:48 PM

I half agree with you. But there is nothing wrong with healthy discussion. It’s just that a lot of it is not healthy. I think it was useful and constructive to learn, for example, that the “spokes” in the image were due to artifacts in the imaging system.

I think you will also find that not just those interested in plasma physics, but many of the astronomers have a poor basic knowledge of standard physics. So what a great opportunity to learn.

Of course people will “theory monger”, sometimes because there is no generally accepted theory. This should be another great opportunity to learn by argument, rather than ridicule. And you can always ignore a post.

Jean Tate
Member
April 9, 2011 3:12 PM

All the more reason, then, for those interested to start – and engage in – a proper discussion, at the BAUT Forum!

In hindsight, do you now think that your first comment on this story might have been somewhat better worded? More along the lines of asking what the spokes were, perhaps? After all, you of all people Ian should know when it’s reasonable to provide links to (or citations of) published papers and when it’s not, in comments on UT stories.

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 4:06 PM

If we all had 20-20 hindsight, we’d never make any mistakes, so of course I would have phrased the question differently, or not at all. Nevertheless, the image still reminds me, as I stated, and the responses were completely out of proportion.

But more than anything, I’d like to see the comment policy enforced, and the link therein to “powerful (but fair) rules” corrected. There are still posts here calling me a “liar or con artist”, and that looks bad on Universe Today. I also have posts withdrawn which have absolutely nothing to do with fringe theories.

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 9, 2011 6:39 PM

@ Ian Tresman

Actually Ian, we all do have this hindsight, if what you really mean is having the same advantage before the event, as in foresight, then I agree, there would be many fewer mistakes and much of what is put off to mistakes on the part of a person would be seen as what it truly is, provocation by that person. Several posts herein fit both of these situations wouldn’t you say?

To remain on topic now, the next post — in case this one is in need of deletion for moderation, will be a non-rebuttal, a non-agressively, non-provokingly worded simple little post I hope.

Mike C

Jean Tate
Member
April 9, 2011 8:34 PM

The comments policy could, indeed, be better enforced.

However, it would be nice if the regulars – many of whose comments I removed a short time ago – would show a little more self-discipline, and so reduce the need for enforcement actions. If you (anyone, not just Ian) think a comment is way beyond the pale, please contact me (via my BAUT account), and I’ll try to respond within 24 hours.

I’m curious though Ian: is this the first time you’ve seen a Swift image with its eight spikes? A quick search through past UT stories turned up two with similar images (perhaps you didn’t read those).

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 9:30 PM

Jean Tate wrote: I’m curious though Ian: is this the first time you’ve seen a Swift image with its eight spikes?

As far as I know . But it did cross my mind that it could have been due to an artifact of the imagery, but I’ve not seen artifacts that look like this anywhere, but had seen other astronomical objects (and physics phenomena) that did look like this.

A search of other images might have resolved the issue sooner, but it didn’t occur to me that I needed to. It seems that other regulars were also not 100% sure, and clarification was sought.

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 9:32 PM

I’m sure there is something wrong with the commenting system, which are regularly occurring in the wrong place. My last post was in response to Jean Tate here.

IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
Member
IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
April 9, 2011 10:14 PM

Ian Tresman:

I’m sure there is something wrong with the commenting system, which are regularly occurring in the wrong place.

You mean like Plasma Cosmology theory? mrgreen

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 10:24 PM

Funny, I had other examples in mind.

IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
Member
IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
April 9, 2011 9:52 PM

Yeah, that’s why I don’t comment as much as I used to do! neutral

IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
Member
IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
April 9, 2011 9:59 PM

P.S. My comment above was intended as a reply to Jean Tate’s comment .

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
April 10, 2011 5:32 AM
EU/PC is mostly and effectively banned by the BAUT Forum, and the moderators actively will delete any such material. (This is the reason why these guys do not appear within the BAUT forum.) Frankly, these EU/PC guys have a known agenda which is aimed to bring their unfounded and rejected ideas into the main stream. They are collectively using agreed ‘advertising’ methods in using sites like Universe Today. The same individual has been doing this for years and has met the same responses. The first comment in this thread was mostly to create doubt and swing the conversation to their nonsensical theories instead of the main story. He will avoid any scrutiny and is not interested in being… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 10, 2011 10:39 AM

@HSBC’s post

I am not answerable to someone who hides behind an anonymous alias making disrespectful comments about me.

>”EU/PC is mostly and effectively banned”
That is not correct, as described here on BAUT, not that I consider this a justification for promoting these theories.

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 9, 2011 6:32 PM
@ LBC I totally agree, I had wished I could remove much of what I snidely wrote about 1 hr after but, alas, no cancel is available. As to the reason for the posts from the PU/EU crowd — it might be they are attempting to gain visits to the sites that are in the ‘profile’ for their account here, I can think of no other reason. If someone were to blast me in a similar way I might feel the need to outlive them but I would still avoid them not repost again, and again… in a place where I was clearly a sore spot, a thorn in the bed. But that is me and mine, not… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 7:26 PM

Rather than speculate, you only need to ask why motivates someone to post. Unfortunately whatever I may give as a reason, others here believe they know better.

If I thought that removing the link to my site would make any difference, I would do so. But I also believe that I should be transparent in providing a link that shows my interests. So I’m dammed if I do, dammed if I don’t.

Regarding motives, I simply have an interest in plasma astrophysics, so I can’t help whether my questions are plasma related, nor whether they fall into an unwelcome category.

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 9, 2011 7:54 PM
@ Ian … I simply have an interest in plasma astrophysics, so I can’t help whether my questions are plasma related… You do mean that your intended posts are indeed mainstream astrophysics related expressions of a plasma like nature that you post as questions or post what you have observed in a lab, seen papers related to such, correct, do I have that right, is what you are saying and I am reading the same? As to transparency and purpose you say it is your belief that your interests need to be seen so as to understand your posts, this is what I hear you say. As to damned if you do or you do not I can… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 9:18 PM

:Mr Mike. Somewhow my reply to you appears up here.

Jean Tate
Member
April 9, 2011 1:29 PM

I’ve removed a dozen or three comments on this story for pretty clear violations of the comments policy.

This is a fascinating astronomical event; it should surely be possible to discuss it – and Nancy’s story on it – in a way that is nice, brief, and doesn’t promote personal alternative astrophysics ideas.

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 9, 2011 6:20 PM

@ J Tate

Feel free to delete any of mine you care to delete, I have a thick skin — and a quick temper from time to time. This leads me to make nasty posts which are clearly off topic or if on topic still nasty. I would delete them but I do not have that option, nor an edit option, but Oh Well, bother.

Mike C

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
April 9, 2011 1:39 PM
For starters the universe contains only 5% ordinary matter. About 90% of that ordinary matter is in an ionized or plasma state. Alfven laid down the plasma physics to work out phenomenology of solar flares and hot structures that exist in various configurations. Plasmas do not constitute 99.999% of astrophysics. This is a plain nonsense statement. You plasma universe guys do not do any actual plasma physics. This is more of a temple of worship, where your “god” is plasma physics. Plasma physics is hard stuff actually, and largely it is worked out on computers. Big mag-hydro codes are developed and used to work out these problems. I am not that experienced with this area of work, so… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 4:19 PM

>You plasma universe guys do not do any actual plasma physics

I bet there are few people here that have done (a) any plasma physics (b) any courses specifically on plasma physics. I bet some have done astrophysics courses that have included some plasma physics.

And of course plasmas do not constitute 99.999% of astrophysics.

alcyone
Member
alcyone
April 9, 2011 5:58 PM

iantresman, please do yourself a flavour: seek out and join an astronomy club. Do you own a telescope? If you don’t, let the club members educate you on what would be a good choice for you. If I may be so bold, may I suggest a refractor – no support vanes, no secondary mirror and no diffraction spikes on any astrophotos you may endeavour to shoot in the (probably not so near) futuresmile

Your universe awaits you!

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 7:17 PM

OK, so I look through said telescope and see neat images of the universe. What are you hoping I might learn?

alcyone
Member
alcyone
April 9, 2011 9:50 PM

Of course, unless you used a camera you wouldn’t be seeing “images”, you would be observing wonderful celestial objects with your own eyes. I would hope you could learn about the beauty of the universe, and a little bit about astronomy. At the very least, you would have first hand knowledge of things like diffraction spikes.

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 10:23 PM

Ah, now I see where you’re going. Thank you for the suggestion. Of course if I were to use a refractor, then I wouldn’t benefit from first hand knowledge of things like diffraction spikes, as you noted.

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 9, 2011 7:26 PM
The length of time or duration for this event as we see it to occur seems out of profile for a nominally disruptive SMBH event as we have posited them to occur; even if the event is aggressively profiled to be along the model of a super large star at very high velocity and near centered penetration of the BHs EH –and very little left over to affect the accretion disk in the short term, although that is surely a possible result. In fact unless the speed of the impactor is an incredibly large value the AD will be affected greatly as the AD tears and strips the slow star’s outer shell as the slow star gradually passes… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 7:28 PM

(Last reply @Mike C, to his second to last post). Darn the comment system sometimes.

Mr Mike
Guest
Mr Mike
April 9, 2011 8:02 PM

It might be the moderation numbering sequence as someone suggested on a different forum a while back. You think you have posted a reply to the correct post but it shows up in a different area of the thread or indeed in another thread.

For example this is a reply to your 7:28pm posting.

iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 8:22 PM

I think you’re right, but only just noticed it happening. Earlier moderated posts have appeared in the right place.

DrFlimmer
Member
DrFlimmer
April 9, 2011 8:30 PM
@ Ian Tresman The problem, Sir, is not what you ask in these days. The problem is your record. I mean, there is enough evidence only on UT that shows that you consider Electric Universe, Plasma Universe, and/or Plasma Cosmology as a more valid idea than the “mainstream theory”. And, although, we have shown time in time again that those ideas do not hold anymore to newer data, you still keep them and you still have a website that promotes exactly these ideas. So, for whatever reasons, it seems that you don’t want to learn although you keep asking questions. So, naturally, we wonder. And I wonder, why you wonder that we wonder. You may not have a… Read more »
iantresman
Member
April 9, 2011 9:15 PM

DrFlimmer wrote: “The problem, Sir, is not what you ask in these days. The problem is your record.”

It’s a good thing I don’t ask questions about my record then.

>”it seems that you don’t want to learn although you keep asking questions”

One asks questions to learn.

wpDiscuz