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Galactic Magnetar Throws Giant Flare

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#67668 by @ 22.02.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Galactic Magnetar Throws Giant Flare

Was the brightest Galactic blast yet recorded a
key to connecting two types of celestial explosions?

Last December, a dense sheet of
gamma rays only a few times wider than the Earth
plowed through our Solar System, saturating
satellites and noticeably
reflecting off the Moon.

A magnetar near our
Galactic Center, the source of
Soft Gamma Repeater (SGR) 1806-20,
had unleashed its
largest flare on record.

The brightness and briefness of the tremendous explosion's
initial peak made it look
quite similar
to another type of tremendous explosion if viewed from further
away -- a short duration gamma-ray burst (GRB).

Short duration GRBs are thought by many to be
fundamentally different than their
long duration GRB cousins that are likely
related to distant

Illustrated above is a series of drawings depicting
an outgoing explosion during the initial SGR spike.

A fast moving wave of radiation is pictured
shooting away from a central

The possible link between SGRs and GRBs should become
better understood as more and similar events are
detected by the Earth-orbiting
Swift satellite.

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