Wednesday, 28 May 2014

What's Happening In Andromeda Galaxy?

A sudden burst of gamma-rays in the Andromeda Galaxy was detected by a NASA satellite this morning which means that there is a high probability that two neutron stars have collided.
A Neutron star is when a star collapses into itself under the force of gravity leaving a significantly smaller but very dense and rapidly spinning dead star.
Depending on the size of the star that collapsing, we could end up with a neutron star or a black hole and scientists are studying the type and length of the gamma-ray emissions detected this morning to understand what has happened in Andromeda.
Unfortunately for the end-of-timers, Andromeda is 2.5 million light years away and the Earth is well away from receiving a direct hit from the gamma-rays so we are in no danger from the event that would have happened while stone age man was first discovering that the sharp edge of a stone can be used as a tool.  
If the burst was caused by colliding neutron stars, previously undetected gravitational waves could be the result as predicted by Einstein but in an ironic twist, our most sensitive gravitational wave instrument, the LIGO, is out of action for an upgrade.
Whatever it was, Earth is not in danger and we are not all doomed but the gravitational waves bending time and space may mean we find ourselves back in 1984 and that would be a disaster...deeley boppers, Phil Collins and day-glo yellow leg warmers all over again!!

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