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 Galactic Recipes : Black Hole Flambé & Neutron Star Omlette

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PostSubject: Galactic Recipes : Black Hole Flambé & Neutron Star Omlette   Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:16 pm

Two recent revelations about the formation of gamma-ray bursts have inspired Cosm's finest chef to create a pair of truly galactic recipes. Bon Appétit!
Quote :
Recipe 1: Black hole and star flambé
This delightful recipe is slow-burner that will certainly surprise your guests and keeps on giving that gamma-ray goodness for several weeks

Until recently gamma-ray bursts were one of the biggest mysteries facing astronomy. Discovered by mistake in the 1960s by satellites looking out for Soviet nuclear weapon testing, gamma-ray bursts are short-lived blasts of gamma-ray photons that, for a fraction of a second, can outshine even the biggest galaxies.

In recent weeks astronomers were surprised to witness a gamma-ray burst (GRB) that, rather than lasting no more than a few hours, has been pulsing away with extraordinary intensity for several weeks. The event was deemed to be so unusual that Nasa scrambled three of their most powerful space telescopes – Swift, Hubble and Chandra – to study it. GRB’s usually mark the destruction of a massive star and are spectacular and brief, so this event must have a different cause.

One suggestion is that a star in the constellation Draco may have wandered too close to its galaxy’s central black hole and been torn apart but tidal forces created by its colossal gravitational pull.

So, here’s the recipe… in case you want to make your own.

Quote :
The neutron star omlette
This recipe give a full burst of gamma-ray flavour that, although fleeting, is a spectacular accompaniment to any universe

While astronomers ponder the cause of that long-lasting gamma-ray burst, a new computer simulation has helped confirm how super-short-lived bursts are created.

GRBs lasting two seconds or more are the most common type and are thought to be caused by the collapse of a massive star into a black hole. But the cause of GRBs that last less that two seconds has remained elusive.

The new simulation, which took seven weeks to run on the powerful computer cluster at the Albert Einstein Institute in Germany, shows that these super-short-lived burst are created with a very different recipe…

Many thanks to Ben Gilliland of CosmOnline for this article

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