back to article Astroboffins spot the most energetic photons yet from gamma ray burst – and here's hoping Earth is right in the way of the next one

Scientists have detected the most-energetic photons yet seen from a gamma ray burst, with energies nearing a trillion electron volts. Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful known explosions in the universe that occur when massive stars collapse into neutron stars or black holes. The spectacle features intense gamma ray …

  1. Blockchain commentard

    The MAGIC telescopes - is that how the astro-nerds refer to their kit when talking to Joe Public?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      I'd hazard 'yes' in this case, Clarkes third law is in play for Joe Public.

    2. NoneSuch Silver badge

      "Yes, more energetic than a pedantic Trekkie correcting you"

      Actually, it's "Trekker"


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Labels aside

    That spontaneous resonance effect *is* the exact same thing as Compton effect. At perfect resonance, the electron will be motionless in the field of the light (the oscillating will be 0,1,0,1,0,1 two F1s exchanging position perfectly across the field) and and the light will be travelling at the limit of exactly one resonant wavelength per universe resonant oscillation and have zero Hz EM frequency (i.e. it will be an F oscillation in an F oscillating field). Of course that perfect resonance doesn't happen, they simply even out the two oscillations to be both closer to resonance and never reach it.

    Compton effect is "spontaneous resonance" effect. Its the same effect, both the electron and light are trying to settle to the middle ground oscillation.

    Do you have "*inverse* spontaneous resonance"? Where oscillating systems just decide to go out of resonance just because they do? No? So why do you label things as *inverse* Compton effect? All you've done is label something you don't understands with an *inverse* effect of one you observed. There must be some cause for it going out of resonance, it just doesn't simply decide to do it.

    Synchrotron radiation... hey if this is broad spectrum emission, can you do the proof test of the speed of light? i.e. that radio waves travel faster than Xrays by a very tiny amount. You're seeing gamma rays now, but look back did you have measurements indicating radio wave burst arrive before?

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Labels aside

      The ususal source (my emphasis):

      Compton the scattering of a photon by a charged particle....Inverse Compton scattering occurs when a charged particle transfers part of its energy to a photon.

      "Inverse" is a convenience label which tells you what is giving the energy to what. And, at these kind of energies, they're both particle-like.

  3. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    Here's hoping..

    ..that Earth is NOT in the direct path of the next gamma ray burst, at least not if it's relatively close by.

    1. NomadUK

      Re: Here's hoping..

      Dunno. The only other obvious alternative is a big asteroid, and we might be able to deflect those.

    2. UKHobo

      Re: Here's hoping..

      oh I don't know, it could be the realisation of all things marvel and x-men and personally I wouldn't mind being able blast holes in things with my laser eyes.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Here's hoping..

        That would be the back of your head though.

      2. Ribfeast

        Re: Here's hoping..

        Maybe watch a few episodes of The Boys, or Brightburn lol

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Here's hoping..

      That is the bit that 'solves' the Fermi Paradox - most galaxies cant host life until they've stopped behaving badly and then it takes a few billion more years to get to stupid life.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Here's hoping..

        Then given the age of this one (i.e.: distance, speed of light) maybe they now have thriving civilization on a nearby planet. Or maybe the planet is basically a ball of ash.

    4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Here's hoping..

      ..that Earth is NOT in the direct path of the next gamma ray burst, at least not if it's relatively close by.

      Indeed. Goodbye ozone layer, hello NOx layer all the way down to ground level.

    5. Anon

      Re: Here's hoping..

      What would be good is if a massive asteroid was on its way to destroy the Earth but a gamma-ray burst hit the asteroid before it got here and saved us all.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "ultrarelativistic electrons"

    One thing is certain : if an astrophysicist uses the prefix "ultra", it's time to pay attention.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm doomed

    No seriously,

    I learned relativity at high school.

    I managed to grasp the Lorentz equations at university. I wrote a paper on solid state particle detectors that was peer reviewed. I work in I.T because a career in physics dont pay enough. Time to give these guys and girls a pay rise.

    Time to dust down my cloud chamber again.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: I'm doomed

      We either pay for the brains and cheap out on the equipment or cheap out on the brains and buy the big ticket toys. Take your pick.

      Unlike expensive bits of kit (which are always expensive no matter which way you look at it) brains can come (comparatively) cheaper since the best minds generally want to play with the big toys regardless. And long may this continue (trust me, if we paid serious bucks all round, we'd get people with MBAs tryingtto figure out how make money off it and nothing productive to show for it...)

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: I'm doomed

      Would that be a case of Poincaré reoccurence?

      This joke depends on recognising that the "Lorentz equations", taken as the Lorentz group, are a subgroup of the Poincaré group, the full symmetry group of spacetime without gravity, and we can therefore pun on the notion of Poincaré reoccurence for someone who intends to return on Lorentz equations. Yes, we need an icon fro this joke requires a subscript. I now, mainly, write javascript.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death by gamma ray burst

    So just how bad would a direct hit be?

    I heard somewhere that the effects would be remarkably similar to a 1kt nuclear detonation per square mile (ie bad) but not clear just what the long term consequences might be.

    Would the Earth be completely sterilized or would it be more like a Permian extinction level event?

    On the flip side, no more whining about Brexit, or anything else for a good 100M years.

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