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X-Ray Burst Temporarily Blinds NASA Satellite

July 16th, 2010 07:50 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

RedEaredSlider writes with news that a recently-detected gamma-ray burst, originating roughly five billion light-years away, was powerful enough to temporarily blind NASA’s Swift satellite. Phil Plait has an interesting writeup on the event. Quoting:
“Swift, normally easily able to handle the X-ray load from these explosions, was overwhelmed, and actually shut down temporarily when software detected that the cameras onboard might get damaged by the flood of light. That’s never happened before. The burst was so bright in X-rays it put other GRBs to shame: slamming Swift with 143,000 X-ray photons per second, it was 5 times brighter than the previous record holder, and nearly 200 times as bright as a typical GRB! Weirdly, it didn’t look out of the ordinary in visible light.”

Source: X-Ray Burst Temporarily Blinds NASA Satellite

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