Category: gamma ray burst

Ask Ethan: Can Gamma-Ray Jets Really Travel Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

“What gives? Is it really possible for gamma-rays to exceed the speed of light and thereby “reverse” time? Is the time reversal just a theoretical claim that allows these hypothetical super-light speed particles to conform with Relativity or is there empirical evidence of this phenomenon?”

Very recently, a paper came out claiming that gamma-ray bursts, and the jets that give them off, can travel faster than the speed of light. If that sounds too fantastic to be true, there’s a reason for that: particles can travel faster than light, but only in a medium, where the speed of light is less than the speed of light in a vacuum. Gamma-ray bursts, when they occur, exhibit a strange property: the signal is mostly a large peak, but when you subtract that peak out, parts of the residual signal are symmetric: if you flip it, part of it going forwards in time is identical to the remainder going backwards in time.

Sound weird? Well, we’re just getting started! Come find out the true story behind this fascinating phenomenon, and what just became our best explanation of what makes it so!

The 7 Most Powerful Fireworks Shows In The Universe

“Forget mere chemical reactions; in space, matter-energy conversion creates unprecedentedly powerful explosive events.

Here are the 7 most powerful natural displays of cosmic fireworks.

7.) Type Ia supernova: when two white dwarf stars collide, they initiate a runaway fusion reaction, destroying both stellar remnants.”

Throughout the Universe, there are many beautiful displays of cosmic fireworks. Stars are born; galaxies collide; gas gets heated and expelled; stars and stellar remnants explode and die. We typically think of supernova events as the culmination of the brightest, most energetic things that can happen in the cosmos. But supernovae only fill up the bottom rungs on the list of the most powerful, natural fireworks shows that the Universe provides us with.

Which ones are the most energetic? Find out on this incredible start to your pre-4th-of-July Monday!