archiv~1.txt: SETI What if some gamma ray bursts are not natural?

SETI What if some gamma ray bursts are not natural?

Larry Klaes ( lklaes@bbn.com )
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 10:25:29 -0500

http://www.flatoday.com/space/today/032699c.htm

To quote in part:

"Djorgovski, co-author of a study in Nature, said an analysis of light and
other energy spewing from the explosion suggests that for a very brief
instant the explosion was more luminous and energetic than the whole rest
of the universe.

"If the gamma rays were emitted equally in all directions, their energy
would correspond to 10,000 times the energy emitted by our sun over its
entire lifetime of about 5 billion years," he said in an interview. "Yet
the burst last only a few tens of seconds."

"Djorgovski said there is some evidence the energy was detected as a
concentrated beam that was pointed at the Earth. A beam would give
an impression of greater energy in the explosion, just as a flashlight beam
focused on one spot appears to be brighter than an uncovered bulb that
scatters the same amount of light in all directions.

"But even if the gamma ray energy were sent out in a beam, said
Djorgovski, that would reduce the energy estimate only by a factor of ten
to 100.

"It would still be the most powerful explosion ever observed," he said.