Astronomers amazed at timing of Markarian 421 'blazer'

Apr 18, 2013 by Bob Yirka weblog
Markarian 421
Hubble Legacy Archive WFPC2 image of Mark 421 and its companion galaxy 421-5. Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive

(Phys.org) —The field of view from Earth is being flooded with the brightest display of gamma rays ever seen, the BBC is reporting, at a time when space researchers around the world have just coincidently trained their instruments in the direction from where it's being emitted—the active galaxy Markarian 421.

No one knew that Markarian 421 was about to do anything special or unusual. Recently, a program was started to study the active galaxy as part of a routine inspection. But then, just after telescopes around the world focused their attention on the galaxy, it flared, giving observers a spectacular show. As if that weren't coincidence enough, it also occurred during the annual meeting (April 13 through 16, in Denver, Colorado) of the American Physical Society (APS), which allowed those in attendance to compare notes as the flare-up was occurring.

Markarian 421 is known as a "blazer" galaxy—it's a term used to describe active with that emit light across the entire light spectrum in jets that are trillions of times more energetic than the light that can be seen by the human eye—all pointing directly toward our planet. The jets go into overdrive, flaring up, as the black hole consumes matter that is drawn by gravity into their vicinity. Markarian 421 hadn't shown much life since a flare-up back in 1996, thus there was no expectation that anything new was about to happen.

But just as researchers around the world had trained various types of telescopes (from gamma ray to visible light spectrum) at Markarian 421, the blazer began emitting more gamma rays than has ever been witnessed before, giving those at the APS meeting a lot to talk about. The general consensus was that the event was both unprecedented and spectacular, leaving those studying it in awe.

The program to study the active galaxy was aimed at attempting to better understand how such huge amounts of can be created by the . To that end, researchers were undertaking a project to study the galaxy across a broad range of light—the flare-up has given those working on the study much more to look at than any of them had imagined.

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User comments : 26

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casualjoe
3.8 / 5 (8) Apr 18, 2013
Never has there been a better time to get blasted with gamma rays.
hemitite
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2013
Goes to show that it's better to be lucky than good.
VendicarE
Apr 18, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
El_Nose
5 / 5 (15) Apr 18, 2013
sometimes i am left in awe of the utter lack of tact in your comments Vendicar

and if you know more info on that event than the authorities I think you should call the FBI as no group has stepped forward

other than that -- get back under your bridge troll
yyz
5 / 5 (9) Apr 18, 2013
"Markarian 421 is known as a "blazer" galaxy"

While these objects do blaze away brilliantly in the night sky (Mkn 421 was the first extragalactic TeV source discovered), the term you're looking for is "blazar": http://en.wikiped...i/Blazar

Aside from being one of the closest and brightest blazars, Mkn 421 is known for its rapid variability and frequent high energy outbursts, such as this one in 2009-2010: http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.3850

VendicarE
1.4 / 5 (11) Apr 18, 2013
The FBI has done a fine job in identifying the photographs of the Republican American Terrorists who bombed New York.

"and if you know more info on that event than the authorities I think" - NoseNothing

Faux News hasn't had much success with it's criminal effort to try and blame Muslims for the crime.

The bombs consisted of 2 lbs of black powder obtained by the Republican Patriots placed in the center of two pressure cookers that had been packed with nails and exploded on Patriot's day in front of the First Republican bank.

They thought that their act would be the opening shot in a new American Revolution against the North.

They forgot that their fellow Republicans are cowards.

alanborky
1.6 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2013
"And to think that it happened on Patriots day, the same day as American Republicans bombed the Boston Marathon by placing a nail filled pressure cooker bomb across the street from the First Republican bank."

VendicarE you forgot them bungin' Mrs Thatcher in the ground!
VendicarE
2.2 / 5 (13) Apr 18, 2013
Thatcher? The world is a better place without her villainy.
Husky
5 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2013
well thank you for derailing the thread and taking it nowhere , Thatcher has as much to do with blazars as AWT with the big bang.
VendicarE
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 18, 2013
Know the enemy.
Sanescience
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2013
Vendicar is looking to change his name again, to F. Just another example of any attention will suffice as attention.

The galaxy is almost 400 million light years away. I hope someone will post what the energy output must be to be that bright from that far away.
VendicarE
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2013
Since it is unknown what the culmination of the beam is, your hope will be dashed.

"I hope someone will post what the energy output must be to be that bright from that far away." - Whomever
The Singularity
3 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2013
How many light years is this galaxy from us?
Sanescience
not rated yet Apr 18, 2013
Since it is unknown what the culmination of the beam is, your hope will be dashed

I don't need precision. A SWAG would be sufficient. At some point in the past they made estimates that suggested that quasars were "brighter than possible", until they settled on the beam hypothesis instead of radiating in all directions.

How many light years is this galaxy from us?

About 400 light years away.
vidyunmaya
1.3 / 5 (7) Apr 18, 2013
Sub; Blazars-MKN421- constellation Ursa Major
A strong source of gamma rays- 397 million light-years.Energy around 250 GEV or more
Change in concepts needed.
Everything cannot be a blackhole ? Where is Wisdom !
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2013
Know the enemy.

The enemy on this site is the troll.

Any (and all) of them.
visual
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2013
How many light years is this galaxy from us?

About 400 light years away.

Give or take 6 orders of magnitude. Our own galaxy is 100 000 light years in diameter, there certainly can't be another galaxy inside ours.

Wiki puts it at 434 million light years away.
The Singularity
1.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2013
I was wondering why these events are rarely talked about in the past tense. This flare has been & gone a very long time ago. We all know we are looking back in time but it is never written that way.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2013
I was wondering why these events are rarely talked about in the past tense. This flare has been & gone a very long time ago. We all know we are looking back in time but it is never written that way.


True, but the act of observing it is in the present.
GSwift7
4 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2013
Vendicar, you are truely inspiring. I think you've shown me the light. I'm going to convert to your side. You win. I love you man. You've saved me.

Now, since your mission is accomplished, get off this site. I'll take care of things from here. I got your back man.

You should probably lay low for a while, just in case THEY decide to make you a target for telling people the truth.
PhotonX
5 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2013
And to think that it happened on Patriots day, the same day as ....
Vendicar, my politics range from Center-Progressive to Left, and I must say that posts like yours are simply embarrassing. What in the world made you feel you had to inject (in this case, yet unfounded) politics into an article and discussion about cosmology? Go to a news or political website if you must do this, please.
Lurker2358
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 21, 2013
Faux News hasn't had much success with it's criminal effort to try and blame Muslims for the crime.


Turns out it actually was muslims.

What does it say about islam, when a person may say, after a terrorist attack, "It was probably muslms," and the majority of the time they will be right...

I think Tamarlan was the one who had the real terrorist contacts. I suspect he recruited his little brother, Dzhokar(sp?), and talked him into it, but I guess all will come out in the trial.

Fortunately for investigators, Dzhokar wore his hat backwards and no sunglasses. This just shows how little thought went into the attack and get away, as he gave away their cover.

I am glad the joint taskforce caught these jerks.

Dzhokar has gotten off easy.
Twin
3 / 5 (6) Apr 21, 2013
Who is monitoring these comments anyway?
I once had a comment jerked because I didn't fully express an idea. But, some jerks above flaunt the spectrum of forum rules and are still here.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Apr 21, 2013
What does it say about islam
Well youre right QC but the term they should be using is 'religionists' as there is little difference among the lot of them, and all their books demand the same sorts of actions against heretics and heathens, if you take them literally. Including yours.

And all true believers are SUPPOSED to take them literally arent they?

"everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman." 2 Chron15:12-13 NAB

"Suppose a man or woman among you...has violated the covenant by serving other gods...that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death." Deut17:2-5

"whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son...evil" john3

-Please remove this shit from your book before you criticize others for following the same orders they find in their books. Thanks.
katesisco
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 28, 2013
http://www.news.h...ndM.html
Referencing 1997 Markarian 421

This spinning and swallowing process generates enormous amounts of energy in the form of visible light, crackling radio waves, and other types of radiation that can be detected out to the edge of the known universe. Radiation from quasars has been traveling to Earth for billions of years, so we "see" them today as they were when the universe was only a few billion years old, more than 5 billion years before the birth of the sun and Earth.
Neinsense99
4 / 5 (8) Jun 04, 2013
Know the enemy.

The enemy on this site is the troll.

Any (and all) of them.

Actual enforcement of rules could fix that, to a great degree. If that happened, I'd start browing with my ad blocker off and maybe even consider a donation.
Neinsense99
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 04, 2013
Never has there been a better time to get blasted with gamma rays.

Look out, Vendi, it's the Incredible Tard and you've got him mad!

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