Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A GRB event.

So the other day while pursuing through our data I happened upon this incredible event. It was seen almost simultaneously at all the payloads which were up and running. I wasn't the only one to have seen it either. David S. also saw it and figured it might have been something from the cosmos and not are solar system.

Our data from the payloads. At about 20:02 UT we see a spike at almost all of them. 

This is a zoomed in plot of the event where you can see the changes over seconds. 

It turns out that this was a GRB or a Gamma Ray Burst which typically originate light years away from the Earth. This GRB  had an origin location of RA, Dec=14h 05m 14.4s, -49d 29m 24s. These burst are some of the brightest in the universe and can last for milliseconds to minutes. This one started from about  20:02:10 and was over by 20:02:30, so less than 20 seconds long. 

Although we saw this event with all of our payloads, there was much better data gathered from at least two other sources for this event; The Swift mission and Fermi Gamma Ray Busts. In fact you can go to the swift real time data site and see that they have our event, but saw it at a slightly later time.

So because the internet is full of information and I'm a sucker for educational videos from NASA and elsewhere... I give you what I found this morning.

So what are Gamma Rays? NASA Goddard has a movie about that.

At least as of 2009, the most distant object observed was a hyper-nova  which produced a GRB observed at the Earth.

A GRB set to music. A bit odd, yet really kind of cool. I still like our whistler wave music better, but I might be biased.