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29 August 2011

Science Lesson (GRB and Black Holes)

I thought that this video was pretty damn cool, and wanted to pass it along.  Who knows, maybe someone will learn something, and spark an interest in astronomy or astrophysics.  Someone who will be at Goddard in 20 years?  We can only hope.

As is mentioned at the YouTube page itself:
Armed with state-of-the-art supercomputer models, scientists have shown that colliding neutron stars can produce the energetic jet required for a gamma-ray burst. Earlier simulations demonstrated that mergers could make black holes. Others had shown that the high-speed particle jets needed to make a gamma-ray burst would continue if placed in the swirling wreckage of a recent merger.

Now, the simulations reveal the middle step of the process--how the merging stars' magnetic field organizes itself into outwardly directed components capable of forming a jet. The Damiana supercomputer at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics needed six weeks to reveal the details of a process that unfolds in just 35 thousandths of a second--less than the blink of an eye.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: ‪http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10740

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