Gamma Romance

On Valentine’s day in 2000, the x-ray afterglow of a gamma ray burst was detected in a distant galaxy. While its galaxy of origin was never properly identified, it’s still one of the most amusing Valentine’s day publications out there. A transcript of the full discovery message (citable as Antonelli et al, 2000) is as follows:

SUBJECT: GRB 000214 ``Valentine's Day Burst'': BeppoSAX NFI Observation
DATE: 00/02/16 23:26:36 GMT
FROM: Angelo Antonelli at Obs. Astro. di Roma <>

L.A. Antonelli, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Rome; [et al]

"GRB 000214 ``Valentine's Day Burst'' was observed with the Narrow Field Instruments (NFI) on board BeppoSAX from Feb. 14.5479 to 15.0793 UT (starting about 12 hrs after the burst trigger time). In the 2-10 keV image of all data from both MECS units 2 and 3, a fading point source (1SAX J185427-6627.5) is detected within the WFC error box (Paolino et al., GCN #557 and #559). The source position is R.A. = 18h54m27.0s, Decl. = -66d27'30" (Eq. 2000) with 50" error radius. In the first 20,000 s the source had a 2-10 keV flux of 5E-13 erg/cmE2/s and faded by a factor of two in the last 20,000 s. We conclude that 1SAX J185427-6627.5 is the X-ray afterglow of GRB 000214."

This message may be cited.

After all, what could be more romantic than giving the gift of a massive stellar explosion? Not much, if you ask me!

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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