Washington: Researchers have revealed that the chances of Earth being fried by a largest gamma ray burst are exceedingly rare.
According to Dr. Rob Preece, doctoral candidate J. Michael Burgess and Dr. Michael S. Briggs, earth was actually at the center of the hit from April`s big gamma ray burst, which they picked up on equipment aboard the Fermi Space Telescope that UAH and partners NASA/MSFC and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany designed and tested.
"Yes, we took a direct hit. But the collapsing star that created the burst was so far away that it was very weak when it reached us. Stars that collapse and produce these bursts are far away," the researchers said.
Dr. Briggs said their observations show that gamma ray bursts are less common in the immediate universe.
"These bursts occur in younger galaxies," said Burgess. "We`re in the oldest galaxy in our immediate universe because as you look deeper into space you are looking back into time."
So any burst generated out there will come from really far away where we can detect it early, and it will be a comparative pipsqueak by the time it gets here.
The study is published in journal science.