In really old radiation news, a flash of invisible light in the constellation Leo 3,600,000,000 years ago has astrophysicists all worked up again.
“We were just about to give up and go be astrologers, when we suddenly saw a gamma-ray burst (GRB) that was extremely bright — a monster gamma-ray burst,” said Daniele Malesani, co-author of a study published in the journal Science. Gamma-ray bursts typically mark the destruction of stars too faint to be seen, which allows scientists to say anything they want about those stars without fear of evidence contradicting them.
“The really cool thing about this GRB is that because this particular burst of invisible radiation was bright pink, we were able to observe relativistic shocks,” said study co-author Giacomo Vianelloco. “Because of interference from anti-science politicians, we’re prevented from turning our sun into a supernova. As a result, we cannot make a relativistic shock in the lab, so we don’t really know what happens in it.” Experiments with monster gamma-rays at Stanford have achieved little beyond the creation of a single pink Hulk (seen below).
Paul O’Brien of the University of Leicester, yet another person claiming to have co-authored the study, dubbed the gamma-ray burst GRB 130472A after his high school locker combination, so he could remember the name.
Gamma-ray bursts are usually short but extremely bright, according to usually short but extremely bright star Reese Witherspoon (shown here wearing glasses to protect her eyes from harmful gamma-rays).
An investigation by Ms. Witherspoon into reports of a giant pink space butterfly (seen below) rampaging through the Regulus system have been delayed by the destruction of the Regulus system.
Astrocolorist Miranda Johnson of Mrs. Marino’s second grade art class decided that the invisible gamma-rays would be the same shade of magenta as recently discovered planet GJ 504b, because she really likes that color.
Ms. Witherspoon is expected to be accepted as a co-author of the study after researchers view her application video. Ms. Johnson will be named a co-author of the study this afternoon during recess.
(Click on the GRB at the top to read the original story.)