Gamma Ray Bursts Limit The Habitability of Certain Galaxies, Says Study
An artistic image of the explosion of a star leading to a gamma-ray burst. (Source: FUW/Tentaris/Maciej Frolow)
Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are some of the brightest, most dramatic events in the Universe. These cosmic tempests are characterized by a spectacular explosion of photons with energies 1,000,000 times greater than the most energetic light our eyes can detect. Due to their explosive power, long-lasting GRBs are predicted to have catastrophic consequences for life on any nearby planet. But could this type of event occur in our own stellar neighborhood? In their new paper, two astrophysicists examine the probability of a deadly GRB occurring in galaxies like the Milky Way, potentially shedding light on the risk for organisms on Earth, both now and in our distant past and future.
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© Vanessa Janek for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Post tags: Black Holes, Cosmological Constant, extinction, gamma ray burst, Large Magellanic Cloud, life, milky way, Neutron Stars, Supernovae