Re: Distant Gamma Ray Burster Nailed

Forrest Bishop (
Sun, 25 May 1997 16:06:47 -0500 (CDT)

You wrote:
>At 10:17 PM 5/19/97 +0200, Eugene Lei
>>!!!!!????? Gamma at the density of lead? Now this is so wildly ridiculous,
>>it fails even to send a shiver down my spine.
>It *should* send a shiver down your spine. ...


> So it impossible to get gamma rays out of an object as small as a
>burster in times as fast as a burster.
>How to solve this problem? Well, if whathever makes the burst is moving
>towards us at close to the speed of light, it will be running just behind
>the light that we see it with, so we will see things on it happening faster
>than they actually occur. It turns out that it is possible to get the
>energy release of a burster if the source is moving toward us at 0.9995 c or
>faster. Moreover, it turns out that pretty much anything moving at that
>speed through the interstellar medium will make a gamma ray burst when it
>plows into interstellar hydrogen atoms. The plowing process takes many
>hours before the projectile slows down, but we see it compressed into a few
>seconds because the projectile is traveling only a smidgen behind the gamma
>rays it produces. So *something* is throwing around chunks of stuff at
>unheard-of speeds, by mechanisms unknown.

Yeah, like a big relativistic bomb phalanx.

>Well, nobody understands these things. At least now that we know they come
>from cosmic distances, we can throw out *half* of the theories that people
>have come up with.

Binary neutron stars also exist in the Milky Way, perhaps as many as two
hundred pairs at any given time (after the initial star formation).
Three such systems are tentatively identified.

A few years, there were 100 theories and less than 100
>known bursts. Now there are 1000 bursts and only about two dozen theories.

Is the 'low profile' scenario considered one of them?