Death from space — gamma-ray bursts explained

Originally published at:


Or - OR - think about this - it is the origin story for HULK PLANET!!!

PS - this is my new favorite channel on youtube.

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Ah, something new to add to the list. I already assume all existence could end at any moment. Supervolcano, gamma ray burst, blindsided by a giant meteor, Zika’s surprise cousin…

Go love someone while you can. Be nice to someone. Realize we’re all on this rock together, and nobody is worth more than anybody else.* It’s all ephemeral.

*Yes, even Trump, technically. He’s just a sad and broken being. I hope he gets the therapy he so desperately needs someday.


A mere “like” is inadequate to express how true and important your comment is.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Aren’t they directional? Coming out of the poles? They would destroy all life in our galaxy that they’re pointed at.

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Oh my God! A green skull with a snake coming out of it? They’re that deadly?

Voice-over from video “Death from space–gamma-ray bursts explained” at

At 3:23 in the video, “Both supernova and neutron star mergers make the same thing–black holes surrounded by a magnetized disk of gas left over from their parent stars. In these environments, the rotation of…winds up the magnetic field, which funnels hot jets of particles traveling at nearly the speed of light.”

At 3:34, the narrator says, “the rotation of…winds up,” but there is no pause between “of” and “winds”; instead, the two words are said too close together. And you’re left wondering, the rotation of what winds up the magnetic field?

Well, the black hole of course. But it appears that the voice-over was edited to remove “the black hole.” Why? Well, there are supposed to be both stationary and spinning black holes out there. And to infer that all black holes spin would be to contradict established scientific knowledge. So, no can do….

Great video and all, but disappointing that it completely ignored the most important question: is it time for viewers to crack each others heads open and feast on the goo inside?

I haven’t watched the video (I’m at work), but doesn’t this depend on where in our galaxy it occurs? E.g., I’m sure that if it happened near Alpha Centauri we’d be toast, but what about on the far opposite rim, ~75000 light-years away? You know, inverse square law and all that?

What’s the maximum potentially deadly distance?

Many years ago (well, a significant portion of my short life ago, anyway) I realized this, and decided to boil it down to a single rule for myself:

Be honest.

Tell the people you love that you love them, when you arrive and leave. You can’t be certain if you’ll see them again.

And as sort of a corollary, for the past few years, I bid people to “enjoy” when I sign off. I feel “Enjoy $THING” is pretty much ideal for my attitude at the moment. Better then stressing out over something, unless that accomplishment allows you to enjoy. It’s a lot like Slack in the church of the subgenius, I guess.

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