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Geplaatst op 11 februari 2009 - 18:45

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I am going to start this article with a bit of commentary: whoever
came up with the idea for the NASA's
Swift satellite
, along with the
engineers who designed it, and the scientists who operate it, all
deserve a big raise. I am constantly getting information about new
discoveries
thanks
to
this
satellite
, and yet another came in yesterday, this one about a spectacular
intergalactic fireworks show.



SGR J1550-5418, in the southern constellation Norma,
has long been recognized as a source of deep space X-rays, but it's had an especially eventful time over the
past five months. Last October, SGR
J1550-5418 began giving off a modest series of X-ray and radio pulses.
On January 22 of this year, the object began a violent phase, erupting
with over 100 high-energy flares within periods as short as a 20 minute time span.
According
to Loredana Vetere, a researcher at Penn State University,
"The most intense flares emitted more total energy than the sun does in
20 years." Given the recent outbursts, the object has been classified
as a soft-gamma-ray repeater.




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