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Michael
12-08-2000, 09:46 PM
With the 230th birthday coming up, has anybody seen this news item? (I've left out a lot of scientific details):

Jan 06, 2000 The Universe Lights Up on Beethoven's Birthday
Ludwig van Beethoven would have been impressed. On December 16, the 229th anniversary of the musician's birth, the Universe lit up in gamma rays that, for a few seconds, outshone the entire sky.
The event was a gamma-ray burst and was soon dubbed the "Beethoven Burst" by Dr. Brad Schaefer of Yale University. Satellites detect one or more gamma-ray bursts a day, but a burst this bright only happens once in maybe four years.

"This was by far the brightest burst we've detected in a long time," said Dr. Frank Marshall, a NASA astrophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center. "I knew we had to find its location quickly. Otherwise, all the powerful optical and X-ray telescopes would not be able to study this monster event. "
But in space, the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) got a long, hard look at Beethoven's birthday candle.
An approximation of the redshift, or distance, of the Beethoven Burst puts it more than 10 billion light years away, roughly 5 billion years after the Big Bang. Yet what caused this burst? A neutron star smashing into a black hole? A "hypernova," 100 times more powerful than the already potent supernova? Or maybe a real gung-ho Beethoven fan?

PDG
12-08-2000, 10:55 PM
MICHAEL:-

The GREAT Patrick Moore (world famous astronomer, and no mean composer), would be in raptures, except that Beethoven`s birthday has already gone - November 16/17!

My birthday is this Sunday, the 10th - maybe the universe is lighting up for me! (Twinkle, twinkle, little star.......) http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif

~Leslie
12-08-2000, 11:58 PM
What????????? PDG, Are you sure? Everywhere
I've looked states that he was born December 16/17. ~

Peter
12-09-2000, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Michael:
With the 230th birthday coming up, has anybody seen this news item? (I've left out a lot of scientific details):

Jan 06, 2000 The Universe Lights Up on Beethoven's Birthday
Ludwig van Beethoven would have been impressed. On December 16, the 229th anniversary of the musician's birth, the Universe lit up in gamma rays that, for a few seconds, outshone the entire sky.



I shall keep a keen look out for any astronomical phenomena on the 16th this year ! - I wonder what happened in 1970 for the bicentennial !

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
12-09-2000, 09:57 AM
GOD, DO I FEEL STUPID!

Sorry, Michael, of course the birthday is in December. I can only offer that I`d had a very long day, and was typing whilst befuddled. With an appropriately-shaped hat, I am now off to stand in the corner.....

Michael
12-09-2000, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by PDG:

Sorry, Michael, of course the birthday is in December. I can only offer that I`d had a very long day, and was typing whilst befuddled. With an appropriately-shaped hat, I am now off to stand in the corner..... [/B]

Not to worry. I forgot my own telephone number yesterday morning. Just be ready to celebrate next Saturday (or Sunday for those who favour the 17th).
Anyway, this supernova or whatever occurred millions of years before the human race existed, let alone Beethoven.

Michael

Suzie
12-10-2000, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
MICHAEL:-

My birthday is this Sunday, the 10th - maybe the universe is lighting up for me! (Twinkle, twinkle, little star.......) http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif

Happy Birthday, PDG!

Rod
12-10-2000, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by PDG:

My birthday is this Sunday, the 10th - maybe the universe is lighting up for me! (Twinkle, twinkle, little star.......) http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif

There was thunder and lightning and a torrential downpour in London today (the 10th), make of what you will!

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

PDG
12-10-2000, 09:36 PM
SHUCKS!!!
Thanx Suzie, & (in your own inimitable way), thanx Rod. It always seems to rain on my birthday!

[This message has been edited by PDG (edited 12-10-2000).]

Michael
12-11-2000, 02:11 PM
The lighting up of the universe will, alas, not be seen in Ireland. On the night of the 16th of December next, our television station, which very rarely shows classical music programmes, is devoting three or four hours to the music of .... Johann Sebastian Bach!
Now, I've nothing against Bach, and it is his year - but didn't he shuffle off the jolly old mortal coil in July of 1750? Alright, he deserves a night of music - but what's the big difference between a 250th anniversary and a 23Oth?
I don't know why I'm complaining here .. but I have to let off some steam . .. mutter...mutter...grumble .....

Michael

Peter
12-11-2000, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
The lighting up of the universe will, alas, not be seen in Ireland. On the night of the 16th of December next, our television station, which very rarely shows classical music programmes, is devoting three or four hours to the music of .... Johann Sebastian Bach!


You're lucky - the BBC are marking the occasion with the three tenors Christmas carol concert ! Jingle Bells 'n all.
Happy Birthday Ludwig !

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'Man know thyself'