Aug. 11, 2021

Shortest Ever Gamma Ray Burst

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 92
*Shortest ever Gamma Ray Burst
Astronomers have discovered the shortest-ever gamma-ray burst. The huge blast identified as GRB 200826A was caused by the...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 92
*Shortest ever Gamma Ray Burst
Astronomers have discovered the shortest-ever gamma-ray burst. The huge blast identified as GRB 200826A was caused by the supernova implosion of a massive star in a distant galaxy – emitted 14 million times the energy released by the entire Milky Way galaxy in the space of just 0.65 seconds.
*Approval given for Australia’s second orbital launch site
The Australian Space Agency has granted a commercial space launch facility license to Southern Launch’s new Whalers Way launch complex 680 kilometres west of Adelaide.
*More delays for Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft
The critical Starliner Orbital Test Flight Two to the International Space Station has now been postponed indefinitely following more technical issues.
*The Science Report
AstraZeneca jab followed by a Pfizer or Moderna jab for the second shot may be more effective.
People who breach COVID-19 regulations are less open to new ideas and driven by self-interests.
How plastics are killing marine life.
Ancient bacteria and phages discovered in a Tibetan glacier.
Alex on Tech: Google's upcoming Pixel 6 and 6 Pro to feature the new Tensor CPU.
For more SpaceTime and show links:

Your support is needed...
SpaceTime is an independently produced podcast (we are not funded by any government grants, big organisations or companies), and we’re working towards becoming a completely listener supported show...meaning we can do away with the commercials and sponsors. We figure the time can be much better spent on researching and producing stories for you, rather than having to chase sponsors to help us pay the bills.
That's where you come us reach our first 1,000 that level the show becomes financially viable and bills can be paid without us breaking into a sweat every month. Every little bit helps...even if you could contribute just $1 per month. It all adds up.
By signing up and becoming a supporter at the $5 or more level, you get immediate access to over 230 commercial-free, double, and triple episode editions of SpaceTime plus extended interview bonus content. You also receive all new episodes on a Monday rather than having to wait the week out. Subscribe via Patreon or Supercast....and share in the rewards. Details at Patreon or Supercast -
Details at or

Sponsor Details:
This episode is brought to you with the support of NameCheap…cheap domain names is just the beginning of your own online presence. We use them and we love them. Get our special deal…just visit: and help support the show.


[00:00:00] This is space time series 24, episode 92 for broadcast on the 11th of August, 2021. Coming up on space time, the shortest ever gamma Ray burst approval. Given for Australia second loan side and more delays for Boeing Starliner spacecraft. Oh, that and more coming up on space time.

Welcome to space time with Stuart Gary

astronomers have discovered the shortest ever gamma Ray book. The huge blast identified as Gib 2008 26 a was caused by the supernova implosion of a massive star and a distant galaxy. The blast was so powerful. It admitted 14 million [00:01:00] times the energy released by the in time milky way, galaxy in the space of just 0.65 seconds.

Most gamma ray bursts are usually more than twice as long. Reducing what are usually described as the brightest, the most energetic events since the big bang. Astronomers divide gamma Ray burst into two broad categories based on their curation short period, gamma Ray bursts blazing the life in less than two seconds and a thought to be caused by the merging of neutron stars in a binary system, neutron stars of the densest objects in the universe, other than black holes, they formed out of the core collapse of massive stars at the end of their lives.

Compressing a stellar core more than 1.4 times the mass of the sun into an object, just a dozen or so kilometers wide. The material of neutron stars is as dense as the nucleus of an atom and a single teaspoon of neutron star material would ways matches mad Everest as well. Incredible density, neutron stars are also intensely hot and possess [00:02:00] magnetic fields, millions to billions of times stronger out of the earth, longer duration gamma Ray bursts, those lasting more than two seconds.

I thought they'd be caused by the implosions of some of the universe's most massive staff. At the end of their lives, stars run out of the hydrogen. That's sustains nuclear reactions in there. Cause the thing that makes a stash shine without the stabilizing pressure of these reactions stars can't fight gravity or they collapse into an exotic stellar remnant.

The massive star determines its fade star smaller than 1.4 times. The mass of the sun will shrink it to white dwarf. Well, largest stars collapsing, the neutron stars and the largest stars of all collapse, entirely forming black holes, an object with such intense gravity, nothing not even light can escape.

When a star is massive enough to collapse into a black hole Maddis wolves towards the black hole around an accretion disk. And some of it manages to escape in the form of two powerful jets that rush outwards [00:03:00] at almost the speed of light in opposite directions, perpendicular to the crescendo. Astronomy has only detected gamma Ray burst.

When one of these jets points almost directly towards the earth, each of these jets is drilling through the collapsing star, producing a pulse of gamma rays, the highest form of energy. This can last for seconds to minutes. Following the gamma Ray burst that disrupted star rapidly expanded or superhero.

However a report in the journal nature. Astronomy suggests that the incredibly short burst of GRB 2008 26, a, a piece of being created by a supernova event rather than a neutron star merger. The study's lead author, Thomas Amanda from the university of Maryland says the discovery sits on the brink between a successful and fouled gamma Ray bird.

Uh, and colleagues believe it was so short despite being produced by a supernova because the jets, the gamma rays that emerged from the collapsing star, weren't strong enough to completely escape the star, almost failing to produce the gamma Ray [00:04:00] burst long gamma Ray bursts are associated with a specific type of core collapse supernova, which lacks spectral signatures for Silicon that's because they're hypothesized to have lost more of their initial envelope, especially here.

And these are usually referred to as strip core collapse supernova. The authors used the Gemini north telescope to obtain images of the gamma Ray burst, hearse galaxy 28, 45 and 80 days after the birth was first detected by a network of observatories, including NASA's Fermi gamma Ray space, telescope.

The event also appeared it instruments aboard NASA's wind mission, which orbits a point between the earth and the sun located at 1.5 million kilometers away. The Mars Odyssey spacecraft is orbiting the red planet and the European space edge is integral spacecraft. Jim and I's observations a lot of the authors, the study of the events, fading, multi wavelength, afterglow, and the emerging light that followed the blast, allowing them to spot the total rise in energy that signifies a supernova, despite the blast location in the galaxy 6.6 [00:05:00] billion light years away.

If the blast was caused by a collapsing star and once the afterglow fades away, it should brighten again because of the underlying supernova explosion. The discovery suggests that since astronomers observed many more of these super nerve Aden long gamma Ray bursts, most collapsing stars fell to produce a gamma.

Ray burst the breaks through the outer envelope of the collapsing star. Astronomers. Think this event was effectively a fizzle one that was close to not happening at all the discovery of GRB 2008 26. A suggest that some neutron star merger gamma Ray bursts are actually supernova cause gamma Ray bursts.

This report from NASA TV,

Fermi gamma Ray space. Telescope has spotted the shortest burst of gamma rays ever seen from a collapsing star. It challenges the traditional classification of gamma Ray bursts also called GRPs short GRPs. Those lasting less than two seconds are thought to occur [00:06:00] when orbiting objects like neutron stars spiral together.

And. Longer bursts come from massive stars at the ends of their lives. A black hole forms at the center of the collapsing star. It drives long lasting jets that drill through the star, producing gamma rays. When they emerge the star, then transforms into a superstar. On August 26th, 2020 Fermi detected a GRB lasting about one second instruments on other spacecraft sought to including NASA's wind and Mars, Odyssey missions.

They helped narrow down the location to a patch of sky in the constellation and draw. Less than a day after the GRB, astronomers identified a fading source of visible light using this Wiki transient facility at Palomar observatory. This was the bursts afterglow. NASA swift satellite soon recorded x-rays from it.

And within days ground-based radio [00:07:00] telescopes observed it too. After a few weeks, when the afterglow had decayed ground-based observatories confirmed the presence of a brightening super nose. This means the GRB must have come from a massive collapsing star, not a merger. Astronomers. Think this burst called GRB 20 0 8 26 was on the verge of not occurring at all.

About 6.6 billion years ago, a massive star and a distant galaxy reached the end of its life. Its core collapsed and formed a black hole, which launched near light speed particle jets through the star just as they breach the surface. The jets shut down, producing a surprisingly brief GRB. Astronomers think it's likely some short GRPs they've detected are misclassified as mergers when instead they're really bursts from jets that nearly failed to drill through collapsing stars.

We only detect GRPs when the jets aim [00:08:00] in our direction, even accounting for this long GRPs still occur at a lower. Then the supernova type associated with them. This means most collapsing, massive stars likely fail to produce long lived jets dying, at least from the gamma Ray perspective with a whimper instead

of a bang.

Still the cam approval given for Australia's second loan side and more delays for Boeing Starliner spacecraft, all that and more store to come on. Space time.

The Australian space agency has granted a commercial space launch facility, licensed to Southern launches, new wireless way launch complex 680 kilometers west of Adelaide. But the license is [00:09:00] limited. It will enable Southern launch to undertake an initial series of three rocket tests as part of a campaign of suborbital flights designed to measure the likely environmental impact of feature orbital rocket flight.

The granting of a license for the whale as way launch complex follows Australia's first commercial launch facility license. Granted the Southern launched back in March to allow them to use their rocket test ranch at Canterbury. And he said, Gina, on the south Australian west coast, these latest approvals follows a green light given to Gilmore's new launch complex at Bowen on the Queensland north coast.

The Gilmore complex we'll focus on equity, Loreal launches while whale is way we'll handle polar launches and Kennebec will be used to test rockets and loan systems where hardware recoveries. This is space time, still a calm, more delays for Boeing Starliner spacecraft. And later in the science report, ancient bacteria and phages discovered it a bit and glacier all that and more still to come on.

Space time.[00:10:00]

The crucial style on an orbital test flight to, to the international space station has now been postponed indefinitely due to more technical issues. The test involved Boeing Starliner CST 100 spacecraft, which is designed to launch a board, an Atlas five rocket and transport crude to and from the international space station as part of NASA commercial crew program.

A second crew transport system operated by space X using its dragon capsule mouth on a Falcon nine rocket as already been operating successfully for over a year under the program. The second style line of orbital test flight was needed after the first test flight fell to reach the international space station back in December, 2019 and was almost destroyed during re-entry following a [00:11:00] series of computer software glitches NASA later identified 80 corrective actions Boeing needed to undertake before another test flight.

The unmanned test flights designed to carry samples to the orbiting outpost undertaken, automatic docking and later undertaken automated undocking. And re-entry landing at the white sands missile range in New Mexico. Five days after launch, if all goes well, a man test flight will take less towards the end of the year with Starliner finally joining dragon and undertaking regular crew transfer duties from the exchange.

This latest, the life of the style liner has been blamed on the detection of unexpected valve position indications on the spacecraft propulsion system. During checkouts, when electrical storms passed over the Kennedy space center, Boeing teams recycled the service modules, propulsion system valves, and the star line, or an Atlas five on the launch pad really had a number of potential causes, including software issues.

Mission managers have now powered down the spacecraft and rolled the stack back [00:12:00] into space launch complex 40 one's vertical integration facility. The launch had originally been slated for July the 30th, but was purse, bone falling problems with the space stations, new Russian Naoko service module with suddenly ignited its thrusters.

Moving the Albany outpost out of alignment. This is space, time.

And Tom out of take another brief, look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report and you study as confirmed earlier research, showing that using an AstraZeneca jab followed by a Pfizer or a Moderner jab for a second shot may be more effective than two jabs at the same vaccine.

The findings reported in the journal nature medicine showed that combining the two different types of vaccines resulted in a stronger immune result than having two jabs of AstraZeneca and an equally strong or stronger immune response. And having two jabs of [00:13:00] either Pfizer or Medina, the authors found levels of spikes specific CDAT immune cells were also high with a combo and with either single vaccine regime.

But the authors also found that having one jab of AstraZeneca followed by the MRI and a vaccine resulted in a similar reaction to having the second of two MRI and a vaccine jabs, which can leave recipients feeling unwell for several days may well, and you study shows that people have purposely breached COVID-19 regulations tend to be less open to new ideas, more extroverted and driven by self-interest.

The findings reported in the journal. Plus one looked at the psychology attitudes and behaviors of people in Australia. The U S the UK and Canada, the authors surveyed some 1,575 participants looking at people's behaviors and attitudes towards pandemic regulations. They found that roughly 10% of people were non-compliant.

Those individuals were mostly male [00:14:00] and they perceive their social culture is tolerant to differences in values and behavior. Contrary to the stereotype. Most of them were not young. And these individuals tended to engage less with official sources, such as government announcements and news, and engage more in unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as denial and substance abuse.

The world health organization says more than 8 million people have now been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with over 4.4 million confirmed fatalities, and more than 205 million people infected since the deadly disease was first spread out of world China. And you study wars that some 83% of green turtles and 86% of loggerhead turtles monitored off the coast of Queensland were found of ingested plastic.

The findings reported in the journal front. He's a Marine science show. Plastic ingestion rates among TILs were generally a higher in the Pacific coast of Queensland. Then in the Indian ocean off the coast of Western Australia, [00:15:00] the authors say the life cycle of Marine turtles, might've become a novel ecological trap where juvenile turtles are trapped in habitats with high amounts of plastic debris.

Microbiologists have found 14,400 year old ancient bacteria and their phages that is bacteria infecting viruses in it debate and glacier scientists study glacier caused to reveal paleo climate histories. And there are often microbes trapped in the eyes. Researchers found the bacteria in this glacial sample likely originated in soil plants rather than animals.

Glacier ice microbes were largely ignored until the 1980s when samples and the ice cores from Antarctic as lake Rostock were examined in detail. Those studies revealed my Craigo cell concentrations up to 10,000 cells per milliliter. A report of the journal microbiome shares the debate and glacier viruses have genetic signatures specifically designed to help them infect cells in cold environments.[00:16:00]

Telstra makes its payphones free for everyone everywhere in Australia. And Google's upcoming pixel six and six pro the feature, the new tents or CPU. But the details on these stories and more we're joined by technology editor, Alex from There's clearly

dying breed. I mean tell stories as many of its payphone boxes as advertising opportunities, where they have these giant television screen billboards that can display ads and also for wifi hotspots.

No with mobile phone plan, as cheap as $10 a month. Unlimited calls and texts in Australia to landlines and mobile phones, anybody can afford to have a mobile phone, but people do use landlines when there's been a Bush fire. For example, in my bowel towels have been affected power that goes to mobile towers.

Power lines have burned down about 24 hours of battery power. So in many cases that landline phone, the [00:17:00] payphone could be the only phone that's available until power is restored to mobile towers. So payphones still serve a useful service. I mean, 11 million calls were made last year, but that's only basically.

One call for every two people. And then there's 25 and a half million people in Australia. So that usage of payphones is going down and down. They are use when there are crises, but mobile phones have more reliable. So yeah, clearly if it's costing too much money to go and retrieve that dwindling amount of coins that will be going into those phones and the phones are there.

And the cost of making calls goes down to very low amounts for the telcos. It makes sense just to offer the course for free, and it's not even one of these temporary COVID measures where they'll make it free for a certain amount of time. It's just. Great. So if you need to get to a iPhone, you can, but I guess in this COVID world, you need to make sure that you've wiped the handset.

Well, I mean, they're not that common anymore. They used to be common as mark, every street corner had a little red phone box and, uh, they originally looked like British phone boxes. Then all of a [00:18:00] sudden they started looking like American fan boxes. After that the cell phone came out and they all started disappearing one by one.

And as you said, now, you only see them when they've got advertising on the other.

And they don't have doors in them anymore. Superman can use them to sort of try and quickly

smart. How's he going to reach control headquarters. Now

he always had the fight in his shoe, which was the mobile phone before the mobile phones became as ubiquitous as they are today. This probably means that those remaining payphone stations won't be decommissioned. They'll just be there.

Pro will featured tense or CPU. Tell us about it.

Google's new custom designed CPU. That's how they've been working on it for about five years. And they're talking about how more and more features are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. So Google is very big on that to actually cold their AI and ML chip tensile some years ago, or mentored reality never really took off in the way that [00:19:00] Apple's will mentioned.

Reality has taken off, but. Made great strides with its own processor. Um, Microsoft has worked with Qualcomm to get windows working on almond. It makes sense for somebody like Google, who does create its own phones. They don't tell anyone here as many as their competitors who use the Android operating system to power their.

Google needs to be able to say, Hey, you know, we're just as smart and intelligent accompanies apple. We can make our own hardware as well as yet unavailable pixel six and six, probably, which were originally later, early this year to only appear in the U S in Japan. I I'm assuming that's not going to be reversed and pixel six and six pro will be available all over the world, although that hasn't been announced yet, but they will have Google's own chip.

Then that's important because the pixel for a and five, we're actually using a sort of a meet. Qualcomm processor that weren't using the very latest 8, 8, 8 series Qualcomm Snapdragon, which is the latest and greatest. So Google was trying to sort of reduce its costs by having a good enough processor.

[00:20:00] But now it's good to have a processor, which is its own, and it will be able to more effectively chart its own course. We're going to learn a lot more about it. There was a Google blog post by Rick Costello. Who's the senior vice president for devices and services at Google that you can find online.

Talks about it, but this is their own system on a chip, their own process. So we will hopefully see this appear in future Chromebooks and Android tablets that Google might decide to make. We might see it in a future Google smart watch, which hasn't emerged from Google despite years of rumors, but it just helps Google to plot its own course.

And it'll probably use this technology in some of its own servers and other technologies that it uses to power the entire Google experience, which is the breadth and depth of the internet that we

know today. From[00:21:00]

and that's

the show for now. The space-time is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through apple podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, Google podcasts. Okay. Casts, Spotify outcast, Amazon music SoundCloud YouTube favorite podcasts download provider and from space-time with Stewart, space times also broadcast through the national science foundation on science own radio and on both iHeart, radio and tune in.

And you can help to support our show by visiting the space time store for a range of promotional merchandising goodies, or by becoming a space-time patron, which gives you access to the triple episode, commercial free versions of the show, as well as lots of Burness audio content, which doesn't go away access to our exclusive Facebook group and other rewards.

Just go to space time with Stuart, for full details. And if you want more space time, please check out our blog where you'll find all the stuff we couldn't fit in the [00:22:00] show, as well as heaps of images, new stories, loads, videos, and things on the web. I find interesting or amusing, just go to space-time with Stuart,

That's all one word and that's tumbler without the. You can also follow us through at Stuart Gary on Twitter at space-time with Stuart, Gary on Instagram, through our space-time YouTube channel and on Facebook, just go to forward slash space time with Stewart. And space-time is brought to you in collaboration with Australian sky and telescope magazine, your window on the universe.

You've been listening to space-time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from

Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Technology Editor

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows.