Gamma-Ray Bursts: Crash Course Astronomy #40

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Gamma-ray bursts are not only incredible to study, but their discovery has an epic story all its own. Today Phil takes you through some Cold War history and then dives into what we know. Bursts come in two rough varieties: Long and short. Long ones are from hypernovae, massive stars exploding, sending out twin beams of matter and energy. Short ones are from merging neutron stars. Both kinds are so energetic they are visible for billions of light years, and both are also the birth announcements of black holes.

Crash Course Astronomy Poster:

Table of Contents
Gamma-Ray Were Discovered During the Cold War 0:47
Bursts Come in Two Varieties: Long and Short 8:35
Long Bursts Are From Hypernovae, Massive Stars Exploding 6:46
Short Ones Are From Merging Neutron Stars 9:00
Both Are The Birthplace of Black holes 9:55

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Nuclear Bomb Images via Wikimedia Commons:
Operation Upshot Knothole
Ivy Mike
Castle Bravo
Upshot Knothole GRABLE
President Kennedy signs the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,_07_October_1963.jpg [credit: Wikimedia Commons]
Vela [credit: USAF]
The Crab Nebula [credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU)]
Solar Flare [credit: NASA/SDO/AIA]
Gamma Ray Burst [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab]
Four ALMA antennas on the Chajnantor plain [credit: ESO/José Francisco Salgado (]
Gamma Ray Burst 970228 [credit: Andrew Fruchter (STScI), Elena Pian (ITSRE-CNR), and NASA/ESA]
HST/STIS Image of the optical afterglow of w:GRB 970508 [credit: STScI/NASA]
Black Holes: Monsters in Space [credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
Naked-Eye Gamma-ray Burst Model for GRB 080319B [credit: NASA/Swift/Cruz deWilde]
2008 GRB [credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler, et al.]
GRB Data [credit: NASA]
Imagine two massive stars born together as a binary star [credit: NASA/GSFC/D. Berry]
Colliding Binary Neutron stars [credit: NASA/D.Berry]
Black Hole Devours a Neutron Star [credit: NASA/D.Berry]
Eta Carinae [credit: Jon Morse (University of Colorado) & NASA Hubble Space Telescope]
WR 104: A Pinwheel Star System [credit: P. Tuthill (U. Sydney) & J. Monnier (U. Michigan), Keck Obs., ARC, NSF]
Swift HD Beauty Shot [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]
Swift’s 500 Gamma-ray Bursts [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]


Wayfaring Soul says:

We should consider ourselves very fortunate that space is huge.

lMalNiaC says:

lol this dude is hilarious

AcentricOm says:

Holy crap it's like a giant space laser o.O

Dávid Kertész says:

I often get the feeling that there are a lot more awesome things in real astronomy than in scifi's.

Mauro M says:

You should make a book with the transcription of the episodes of this amazing series and with the images from the animations… It would be mind-blowing and you could make a lot of money!

GKMcWhite says:

I can't believe we are already at the 40th episode. This is so awesome.

killerbee256 says:

So this is what stan lee was thinking of when he created the fantastic four.

jeffmckeown023 says:

GRB's and gravitational waves are the two most mind boggling subjects and my favorite subject to research (I very loosely use this term) on YouTube. My mind barely let's me comprehend.

Thank you for this video.

Fearun9033 says:

Does that mean that we are seeing the birth of a black hole, several billions years ago? Space is mindblowing.

West Kagle says:

.      Having all these orbiting telescopes allowing us to catch so many GRBs in action is nice for scientific research and all, but about all they can do for us, if a near enough GRB is pointed directly at us, is allow us to know that we're about to die, instead of just being blindsided. There is really zero we can do except maybe take a quick ceremonial drink before the end (and more than likely not even that).

Jared M says:

This was the best episode so far

Ptaku93 says:

Why will the next one be only on 3rd December? Why not week-by-week as it is now? :0

tesnacloud says:

I have two questions. what is the result of two black holes colliding or merging, or what are the theories on it? And is it possible for a star to be born with so much mass that fusion can not hold it up, and a black hole forms that way?Awesome series, thanks for this!

Jacek Neumann says:

The best Crash Course series to date. Period.

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