The sheer amount energy generated is difficult to comprehend. Although the crust probably shifted by only a centimeter, the incredible density and gravity made that a violent event well beyond anything we mere humans have experienced. The blast of energy surged away from the magnetar, out into the galaxy. In just a fifth of a second, the eruption gave off as much energy as the Sun does in a quarter of a million years.
Oh, and did I mention this magnetar is 50,000 light years away? No? That's 300 quadrillion miles away, about halfway across the freaking Milky Way galaxy itself!
And yet, even at that mind-crushing distance, it fried satellites and physically affected the Earth. It was so bright some satellites actually saw it reflected off the surface of the Moon! I'll note that a supernova, the explosion of an entire star, has a hard time producing any physical effect on the Earth if it's farther away than, say, 100 light years. Even a gamma-ray burst can only do any damage if it's closer than 8000 light years or so.
The Great Gravitar Attack of Ought Four. NEVER FORGET.
Anniversary of a cosmic blast
12 CommentsTags: doomed, space
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