APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

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APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:06 am

Image The GRB 110328A Symphony

Explanation: A symphony of planet-wide observations began abruptly on March 28 when the Earth-orbiting Swift satellite detected a burst of high-frequency gamma-rays from GRB 110328A. When the same source flared again after a 45 minute pause it was clear this event was not a typical gamma-ray burst. Twelve hours after the initial fanfare astronomers using the 2.5-meter Nordic Optical Telescope chimed in with a mid-range observation of the optical counterpart. Early the next day the explosion was picked up in baritone low-frequencies of radio waves by the ELVA radio dishes in the USA. Later many optical telescopes, including the 8-meter Gemini North telescope in Hawaii, began playing along by tracking the optical counterpart. The unusual source was spotted at a higher register in X-rays by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and was intermittently followed in the even more soprano-like gamma-ray range for a week. Joining the chorus, Hubble Space Telescope recorded this image in optical and infrared light, confirming that the flash was located along the path of a galaxy at redshift 0.351. If associated with the galaxy, this explosion occurred when the universe was about two thirds of its present age. There is much speculation that the unusual gamma-ray burst was a star being ripped apart by a supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy and the puzzling features of the distant detonation are still being explored.

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by owlice » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:44 am

Oh, I love this! Someone obviously had a lot of fun writing this APOD!
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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Beyond » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:01 am

I agree O' wise Owl. I wonder where someone gets all the time to look these things up? I didn't get the ' source flared' at all, though.

OK, got it now. I was befuddled by all the 'other' stuff on the page and didn't think to scroll down a bit :oops: :oops:
Last edited by Beyond on Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:30 am

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths out-GRB 110328A.
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Andy1963

Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Andy1963 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:08 am

What can we determine about the space between this GRB and us given that the gamma rays arrived nearly two days before the LF radio signal? And at what stage would neutrinos be recorded, if any?

Andy, curious!

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by bystander » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:20 am

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:45 am

Beyond wrote:I didn't get the ' source flared' at all, though.
Hi Beyond, did you not see Phil's original post on the flare? Hope this helps!


And this image fascinates me! (I agree with owlice, too: the description seems like it was a ton of fun to write!)

8-)
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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by moonstruck » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:05 pm

I wanna hear it :wink:

one3xi

Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by one3xi » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:10 pm

Question...Given the enormous number of stars in the universe...Why don't we see this happening all of the time? ... it seems to me that just looking into the night sky we should see flashes of light and stars blinking out all over the place...any answers?

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:17 pm

Andy1963 wrote:
What can we determine about the space between this GRB and us given that the gamma rays arrived nearly two days before the LF radio signal?
This is not a propagation issue so much as a formation issue.

Synchrotron radiation particles start out with very high energies in very high magnetic fields
and, thereby, begin generating very high 'gamma ray' frequencies.

Worn out synchrotron radiation particles in more distant weaker magnetic fields
eventually generate the visible & radio frequencies.
Andy1963 wrote:
And at what stage would neutrinos be recorded, if any?
It is not clear how neutrinos might be generated in this situation.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:34 pm

one3xi wrote:
Question...Given the enormous number of stars in the universe...Why don't we see this happening all of the time? ... it seems to me that just looking into the night sky we should see flashes of light and stars blinking out all over the place...any answers?
This requires a star to 'accidentally' fall into a relatively small solar (or solar system) sized supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy.

Like a child falling down a well this is a rare event (though one that gets a lot of publicity).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Bart wrote:
Image
<<The Simpson family are busy preparing for Bart's birthday party. Homer sees a commercial on television for a prank microphone called the Superstar Celebrity Microphone that can be used to tap into localized radio systems and instantly decides to buy one for Bart. Subsequently, Bart experiences a crushingly disappointing birthday party when all his gifts turn out to be useless things like a cactus, a label maker, and a new suit. At first, he is also disappointed by the microphone, but later finds a use for it in creating practical jokes, such as tricking the Flanders children into believing that God is talking to them, listening in on Lisa and Janey's conversations about boys, and persuading Homer that martians are invading the Earth.

Bart throws a radio down a well and speaks through it with the microphone, tricking the townspeople into thinking an orphan named Timmy O'Toole has fallen down the well. Although they are unable to get "Timmy" out, as the well is too small for any adult to fit in, the entire town offers moral support and do everything they can to give him hope. Krusty even gets musician Sting to join other celebrities in recording a charity single, "We're Sending Our Love Down the Well". However, Bart—after realizing that his name is on the radio thanks to his label-maker—falls into the well while trying to retrieve it. When the townspeople find out, he confesses that Timmy O'Toole does not exist. Angry at being tricked, the townspeople leave Bart in the well. At the same time, "We're Sending Our Love Down The Well" dramatically falls off the number one spot to be replaced by "I Do Believe We're Naked" by Funky C, Funky Do. Despite efforts by Homer and Marge to mobilize a rescue operation, the entire town remains outraged at Bart and refuse to help. Finally, Homer has had enough—he decides to dig a tunnel and rescue Bart himself. Groundskeeper Willie sees this and joins Homer. With a little help from Sting, and several residents who put their anger aside, an excavation operation is started. A regretful Bart is finally rescued and Willie puts up a small warning sign near the well the next morning to prevent future incidents.>>
Art Neuendorffer

one3xi

Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by one3xi » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:49 pm

Ok I understand this paticular event but what about stars going out or firing up for the first time...again give the numbers why is there no nightly light show?

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by rstevenson » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:08 pm

one3xi wrote:Ok I understand this paticular event but what about stars going out or firing up for the first time...again give the numbers why is there no nightly light show?
Well, there is, sort of... .

Our own Milky Way galaxy only gives birth to about 7 new stars every year. On a cosmic time scale that's a lot -- it takes us about 250 million years to complete one orbit around our galaxy, and during that time there would be about 1.75 billion new stars. But at 7 per year, it doesn't put on much of a show. And many of those will be out of sight on the far side of the Milky Way or will be too dim to see with the naked eye, for one reason or another.

As for stars "going out", many of them do so not with a bang but a whimper. They just get older and colder and fade out. No light show to see for most of them. Stars big enough to go out with a bang are not in the majority. A supernova will only pop up about once every few decades in the Milky Way.

Rob

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Beyond » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:14 pm

Indigo_Sunrise wrote:
Beyond wrote:I didn't get the ' source flared' at all, though.
Hi Beyond, did you not see Phil's original post on the flare? Hope this helps!


And this image fascinates me! (I agree with owlice, too: the description seems like it was a ton of fun to write!)

8-)
Silly me, i was so befuddled by the 'other' stuff on the page, that i didn't think to scroll down a bit. I'll have to make note of that in my first post.
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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by JohnD » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:35 pm

one3xi wrote:Ok I understand this paticular event but what about stars going out or firing up for the first time...again give the numbers why is there no nightly light show?
See the Chandra website article: http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/04_rel ... 21804.html
Quote, "The odds stellar tidal disruption will happen in a typical galaxy are low, about one in 10,000 annually."
But it went on to say that,"If it happened at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, 26,000 light-years from Earth, the resulting X-ray outburst would be about 50,000 times brighter than the brightest X-ray source in our galaxy, beside the Sun, but it would not pose a threat to Earth."

Really? That source is 4 million light years away and from us to the centre of the Milky Way is about 25000 ly. So however faint the radiation was it would be 4 million squared/2500 squared stronger if it happened there. That's 25,000 times more intense radiation. That number is half the factor suggested on Chandra - where did I go wrong?
Whatever, if the radiation was emitted as a jet (see Chandra and the BA's essay) which would concentrate it in a beam, would an inverse square law still apply?

And how stable are the orbits observed by the ESO team and reported in 2008? (http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso0846b/) Especially S2? Could they perturb each other and steer one onto a collision course?
John

Wally Weet

Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Wally Weet » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:47 pm

Are the orange dots that fill the image stars or galaxies?
It suggests the cosmos is as solid as a billiard ball.

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:09 pm

JohnD wrote:See the Chandra website article: http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/04_rel ... 21804.html
Quote, "The odds stellar tidal disruption will happen in a typical galaxy are low, about one in 10,000 annually."
But it went on to say that,"If it happened at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, 26,000 light-years from Earth, the resulting X-ray outburst would be about 50,000 times brighter than the brightest X-ray source in our galaxy, beside the Sun, but it would not pose a threat to Earth."

Really? That source is 4 million light years away and from us to the centre of the Milky Way is about 25000 ly. So however faint the radiation was it would be 4 million squared/2500 squared stronger if it happened there. That's 25,000 times more intense radiation. That number is half the factor suggested on Chandra - where did I go wrong?
First, I don't think the source is 4 million ly away, but is actually 650 million ly away. But where you went wrong is in reading into the explanation that an event like this in the Milky Way would be 50,000 times brighter than the event in RX J1242-11. What they said is that it would be 50,000 times brighter than any other x-ray source in our galaxy.
Whatever, if the radiation was emitted as a jet (see Chandra and the BA's essay) which would concentrate it in a beam, would an inverse square law still apply?
Yes. Collimated beams of radiation or particles still diverge.
Chris

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Sam » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:01 pm

[paraphrase of APOD Robot]:
A symphony of planet-wide observations began abruptly when Swift detected a burst of high-frequency gamma-rays from GRB 110328A.
Twelve hours after the initial fanfare astronomers chimed in with a mid-range observation of the optical counterpart.
Early the next day the explosion was picked up in baritone low-frequencies.
Later many optical telescopes began playing along by tracking the optical counterpart.
The unusual source was spotted at a higher register by Chandra and was intermittently followed in the even more soprano-like gamma-ray range for a week.
Joining the chorus, Hubble Space Telescope recorded this image in optical and infrared light…this explosion occurred when the universe was about two thirds of its present age.
The puzzling features of the distant detonation are still being explored.
Art of Fugue
Contrapunctus 7 per Augmentationem et Diminutionem
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
---------
Sam
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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by JohnD » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:47 pm

Thnak you, Chris,
So, from the BH at the centre of the MW to us, this event would have been 6.76x10^6 times brighter than it is?
It's very faint indeed, but six orders of magnitude is a big factor!

And thanks for the reassurance about a beam, as in jet.

John

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by Beyond » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:39 pm

neufer wrote:
Andy1963 wrote:
What can we determine about the space between this GRB and us given that the gamma rays arrived nearly two days before the LF radio signal?
This is not a propagation issue so much as a formation issue.

Synchrotron radiation particles start out with very high energies in very high magnetic fields
and, thereby, begin generating very high 'gamma ray' frequencies.

Worn out synchrotron radiation particles in more distant weaker magnetic fields
eventually generate the visible & radio frequencies.
Andy1963 wrote:
And at what stage would neutrinos be recorded, if any?
It is not clear how neutrinos might be generated in this situation.
Neufer, there seems to be something a little amiss here. In the right hand picture i see lavendar, not blue. Also, in the left hand picture i see a lavanderish color in the middle of the blue in the center of the Crab nebula. Do you need to re-word your wording, or am i just seeing lavandar that isn't really there??
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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by NoelC » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:05 pm

My favorite wording was over on the discovermagazine site, via the "source flared" link:
The energy stored in these beams is incredible, crushing our imagination into dust: for a time, they shone with the light of a trillion Suns!
Considering that with these wonderful brains of ours we can actually imagine the entire universe, from one end to the other, in a heartbeat, THAT's a big release of energy!

-Noel

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by neufer » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:00 am

Beyond wrote:
Neufer, there seems to be something a little amiss here. In the right hand picture i see lavendar, not blue. Also, in the left hand picture i see a lavanderish color in the middle of the blue in the center of the Crab nebula. Do you need to re-word your wording, or am i just seeing lavandar that isn't really there??
Image
Howdy Doody's Dilly Dally wiggled
his ears when he was frustrated.
[list]Lavender's blue, Dilly Dally, lavender's green,
When I am king, Dilly Dally, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, Dilly Dally, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, Dilly Dally, that told me so.

Call up your men, Dilly Dally, set them to work
Some with a rake, Dilly Dally, some with a fork.
Some to make hay, Dilly Dally, some to thresh corn.
While you and I, Dilly Dally, keep ourselves warm.
[/list]
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garry

Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by garry » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:39 am

Why is it when we see something we do not understand or explain, we automatically think it must be a black hole? What such small thinking!
If the effects of universe can be only explained by black holes, dark matter & gravity then we are already stunted in our growth of understanding.
We only know an extremely small percentage about how our universe works yet we will not consider new ideas or theories.
Unless your middle name happens to be God, you still have a lot to learn!

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by neufer » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:04 am

garry wrote:
Why is it when we see something we do not understand or explain, we automatically think it must be a black hole? What such small thinking!
http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/topics_blackholes.html wrote:
<<Black holes are a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which was published in 1916. In fact, the idea of a black hole was proposed as early as 1783 by the amateur British astronomer John Michell (and independently by the Frenchman Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1795).

Ironically, Einstein himself did not believe in the existence of black holes, and he strongly resisted the idea, even though his own theory predicted them. The general scientific consensus is now that black holes do in fact exist, and that they are actually one of the most important features of our universe. Astronomers have detected them indirectly in enough different ways that there is little doubt of their existence.

A black hole (the phrase is usually credited to the American physicist John Wheeler in 1967, and is certainly a distinct improvement on the original label of “gravitationally completely collapsed objects”) is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, including electromagnetic radiation such as visible light, can escape its pull - a kind of bottomless pit in space-time.
At its centre lies an infinitely small, infinitely dense singularity, a place where the normal laws of physics break down. As the comedian Steven Wright once remarked: “Black holes are where God divided by zero”.>>
garry wrote:
If the effects of universe can be only explained by black holes, dark matter & gravity then we are already stunted in our growth of understanding.
We only know an extremely small percentage about how our universe works yet we will not consider new ideas or theories.
New ideas or theories are always welcome.

But they must fit the observed data better than old ideas or theories (or else require fewer free parameters).
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: The GRB 110328A Symphony (2011 Apr 19)

Post by NoelC » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:11 pm

garry wrote:Why is it when we see something we do not understand or explain, we automatically think it must be a black hole?
Well, to be fair I don't believe anyone fully understands black holes either.

But you make a good point. Everything mysterious out there does seem to be attributed to dark or black stuff!

I find it interesting that a black hole is being considered responsible for the brightest light in the universe.

-Noel