#BAFact: On this date in 2004, the Earth was hit by the biggest blast of cosmic radiation in recorded history.

Eight years ago today - Dec. 27, 2004 - the Earth was slammed by the biggest explosion of energy coming from deep space in recorded history. It is almost impossible to exaggerate the size and scale of this event: It literally had a physical effect here on Earth, even though the origin was a mind-crushing 50,000 light years away!

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2012/12/27/cosmic_blast_magnetar_explosion_rocked_earth_on_december_27_2004.html
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281 comments
 
The scale of this event is mind boggling. 
 
I do remember feeling a little queasy that day. ;-)
 
Hmmm...I think that is when I got my powers.
 
Well worth a read.  The magnitude is incredible.  Thanks for giving us some perspective.
 
So has anyone gotten superpowers yet?  :-)
 
That explains the spontaneous appearance of my baby sister.
 
That is just about when my hair started to stop growing?
 
I got a superpower! it's a bullshit detecter. Sadly though the headaches got so bad the last time i drove through D.C. i now have to go around them. :(
 
For all of our brawn and might that we command on earth, we are still mere silly putty in relation to what is out in space.
Frank M
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+Matthew Stone And that's why the Beltway was built - and why people go about 20 over speed limit on it.
 
Damn, that explains the change in my wife...she got zapped!
 
+Henry Bowman No no. The radiation simply threw off the calendar. The day we die is actually.... Tomorrow. Quick everybody, buy some of those 50,000 dollar indestructible pods!
 
Big bada explosion thats nice
 
+Myles Milner, we are what silly putty steps on in the parking lot on the way to work.  To take from the article, it is almost impossible to exaggerate how tiny we are.  There is an old episode of a show (whose name escapes me) on Discovery Channel about cosmic storms that puts our spec of dust into perspective!

EDIT:  The TV show is Known Universe, and the episode is Cosmic Fury (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1615274/).  Thanks Google for the quick lookup!
m arfan
 
into perspective!
12:33 AM
 
That explains everything! I now know where my microwave like abilities come from.
 
And we're worried about global warming
 
this is a wonderful sight. how did you take the picture?
 
i woke up with dreadlocks that day, i've always wondered how that happened. 
 
he took it with a satellite. DUH!
 
On the day before this event ,, on the 26 a earth quake measuring 10 Stopped the rotation of the earth  ..!!!! :-)
 
Is that why I'm having memory problems since then. Cant seem to remember anything these day since 2004
 
i think this blast is how john boehner got his tan. 
 
That makes sense as it coincides with the exact time I lost my super powers.
 
Just confirms what I've known all along about electromagnetism. It is the key to understanding our universe not gravity! 
 
Made an effect?  Why are we hearing about it 8 years later?  Was the effect, "Severe Procrastination"?
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Mark M
 
Cool I was a freshman in college then and still in college now...damn
 
life is so hard to living in these life.so get your hustler in life before you live in these earth.
 
And they found out today????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
I completely admire that thought. I now light years are very long, but how many miles are they. Thank you for sharing that with us, I also find mathematics so fascinating as well. thanks
 
why do we hear about all this the lord will come dw when he is rdy
 
What's the magentar's orbital period around the galactic center? I'm less interested in the future than the past... when was it last at its closest approach to Sol, or does it have roughly the same orbital period?
 
The apocalypse didn't hit on Dec. 21 like the Mayans predicted, and it won't hit us in 2040 either. NASA has confirmed that asteroid 2011 AG5 will pass by Earth when it comes our direction in 28 years.
 
This is a day after the 2004 earthquake/tsunami. Lots of reasons to feel queasy without this event. Imagine if communications were seriously knocked out just after a widespread natural disaster. So many dodged bullets here.
 
Good thing that sucker is on the other side of the galaxy!
 
+Manoj Tiwari ... "like the Mayans predicted." They did no such thing. At no point did any Mayan predict the end of the world in 2012. None. Nowhere. Zip. Zero. Nada. There wasn't even a suggestion of such, just one version of their calendar that they worked out that far (and which they could easily have worked out further, had they wished). It's a bit like finding a calendar in June that ends on Dec 31, and saying, "they predicted the world would end, just before New Year's day!"
 
So this is how i got these powers
 
Beautiful ... How not to be in love with universe ?
 
Just another day in the Milky Way. Be thankful we live in a comparatively quiet corner of a comparatively quiet galaxy. It isn't impossible for an undetected magnetar to be nearby, but with the technology we have available at this point it is extremely unlikely. Magnetars are generally pretty easy to find. They are the cosmic equivalent of a search light. Potentially dangerous, but not worth sweating over. For stellar threats, undetected asteroids and comets are a dramatically more significant problem. 
 
ya dats history now lets c wat goz on
 
So does this mean that the event actually occurred 50000 years ago? 
 
This is fine, but when does the mothership arrive?
 
Nice one gust as some people fort the world was gone end now they will think it is in 2013 for god sake
 
The Earth is blasted by cosmic radiation all the time, the only protection we have is the atmosphere. As you know, we are destroying our atmosphere from the inside out. What does that tell you?
 
The solar storm of 1859 (August 28 - September 2) was the largest geomagnetic storm to hit N. America and Europe. The telegraph wires were said to continue sending messages even though the system was off line and fires were started by the storm's intensity.
 
Hopefully someday far far away I can get there too.....
 
Explains all of this levitating I've been doing since then...
 
Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?
 A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.
 
Amazing, imagine all that energy out there.
 
+Hassaan Hashmi I think it means it happened about 4.4133824e+12 years ago!!! I'm basing that on 1 light-year divided by Earth's rotational speed (I used 66,600mph). But that calculation could be flawed because I don't know the actual speed at which the energy was traveling. I mean, if it was moving faster than Earth's rotational speed, say Warp 10, it could have happened 10 days before it us!!! Who knows!?
 
Hmmm, really? Lived right through it, didn't notice a thing!
 
So G+ exists to provide 8 year old solar flare reports??!
 
That explains why I can change into a "Human Torch" whenever I sneeze! Achoooo, "Flame On !!!!"
 
I got superpowers from this how about anyone else
 
Correct you are James, Hoping that Phil did not mention, (no way to document @ that point in history), for lack of quantified stats, & is not becoming one of those reporters that doesn"t see the need to research before he posts.
 
That was no gamma ray. It was the Yamato Wave Motion Gun!
 
Chuck Norris must have smiled at the planet
 
+Alan Fox Yes Alan, this is the only post on G+, get some better glasses you old ass Canadian Bastard.
Sasha C
 
wow idk if this is real
 
It looks like the star that lead evrybody to the new born king, Jesus.
 
We need to start building spaceships. Just thought I'd put that out there.
 
And on that day, it reset my game of solitaire!! Damn you cosmic ray burst!!! Damn you!
xyz243
 
Oh matters us..
 
so what can we do about it.clearly nothing it is all up to the creater who made the whole univers.we may fined out whats happening but it stops thier so we should do what the creater want us to do
 
not sure if this is a valid question,,but the fact that the earth was affected from such a distance,,did the effect reach us at the speed of light?or that unknown for certain,,ionising particles sounds a bit like entanglement ..is there any validity to this statement? 
 
So why didn't we know this back then?
 
Well maybe perhaps possibly. But then these cosmic vibes have only been recorded for about 39 years
 
Man has a second this planet more so than anything .
 
I wonder what the flux density is on the surface of this beast?
 
Liked the.way you described, impossible to exaggerate. 
 
23 on the Richter scale?  I thought that when the scale hit 10, that meant total and complete destruction...one of those mathematical limits or something.

So...23?  Mind=blown.
 
Maybe the gamma radiation affected not just earth’s magnetic field?
 
Vooohhh. Can't believe we survived that. Thank god for this extended life. 
 
I didn't know you could delete posts! Might as well give me hard times then. . . 
 
Well that explains alot. All these years l was under the impression that Earth was a cosmic dumping ground for the insane.
 
All of Paris is mad, only the river is Siene!
 
Why so many smart ass coments? Think about it
 
Damn universe, you scary!
 
No wonder people were so erratic back then
 
Did all people knew this? No idea bout this. Maybe work of science again.
 
+Hassaan Hashmi why yes it does, it also means it happened 50000 (9.4×20^12)=4.7×10^17 km away. Thats 47 with 9 zeros. That is about the distace of halfway across our galaxy
 
Also guys the pictures an artist rendition.
 
Scary stuff... So... could that magnetar turn into a black hole?
 
"Eight years ago today"
I think you mean ~50008 years ago today.
 
This just reminds us of our vulnerability in the vastness of space, as intelligent apes clinging to a dieing rock thats a spec of sand in a blink of an eye in real time.
 
i dont wht is dis pls explane
 
Oh man, where's my spaceboard when i need to ride a wave like that?
 
Global warming is the only problem. Don't go 'round blaming space and George Clooney.
 
+Parvez Akkas Not likely it is going to become a black hole. It requires a bigger star than the type that turns into a magnetar. In addition, even with that incredible density, the gravitational field is too small by orders of magnitude to create an event horizon. The fact that radiation can leave the vicinity of the star traveling at nearly the speed of light is a pretty good indication of this.
 
What a load of crap! Scientist make up a load of cogswobble to justify there University grsnts..



 
If the particle physicists are correct that equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created during the formation of the universe, then it should come a no surprise that some of that matter and antimatter would meet (via gravitational attraction).  The result would be pure energy - cosmic rays, and lots of them.
It could have been a supernova.  But those are lame  compared to a cosmic ray burst.
 
It just like forcasting the weather they have all this tecnology but still have no fucking idea what is really going to happen lol
 
But atleast were employing someone:)
 
+Greg Bassett Their. Not there. You are not pointing out a location. If you are going to drop a load of cogswobble into a scientific conversation, do us the courtesy of using spell check and decent grammar.
 
Did you understand what I ment?
 
Let me guess you have been in school foramy years,you quote all kinds of philophsy but still live at home with your parents give it a rest bud. (Buddy)
 
"O", so that's why I glow in the dark?
 
So what would that blast of Gamma and X-rays have done to someone's film badge?  Is there another zap ray from another magnatar or black-hole that took aim at us many millenia ago?
 
Shows how powerful even small things are, this universe is a mystery and these events paints an awestruck picture thinking about the creator of this lovely universe!
 
The fact that is some deep space is pretty amazing census from over 50,000 light years away and is the biggest energy explosion dad has hit the earth ever hopefully blast that might be even closer to home so farewell sleep well for all the people of Earth
 
My hat is off to the ones that form thier own opinion, the ones that quote others,it shows how limited your life experience is.
Live life don't live from what others have told you.
Take from them what you will but form your own opinions and use your own word,show some intelligence and individuality!
 
It appears a volcano and an earthquake happened on the day after Dec. 27, 2004.
 
there are trillions of solar systems out there . there has to be life out in one of them .yr.s ago when I am a highly skilled dental tech.crown and bridges after work bad storm we in lab in plymouth ma. were told to drive home safe i lived in pembroke ma. so when i was driving back. the skie was pitch black tornado heav rains wind very fast my roomate told me while traffic of highway all cars pulled over and got out and tried and did get pict.s i was on side my roomate told me a large tree went down in front of our house he was at gillete in bst. he was
 
The home was flooded lights power outage we had park before so the whole area of all capefrom plymouth to norwood got hit bad 1997..
 
Not sure if there is any relation or not. But 26th Dec was when tsunami hit Banda Aceh.. and the rest of the world.
 
這是甚麼星球好漂亮!
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If it hit a day sooner, we might have blamed this event for triggering a tsunami that killed a quarter of a million people.
 
how do u know it was 50000 light years away?
 
Amazing 1 of a kind Immaculate 
 
It explains the beginning of economy going to shits. 
 
Astonishing cosmicphenomenon. What could have happened, had it lasted longer?
 
I did get a little more bald that day. I remember it clearly.
 
I saw this in 1988 or 89 in Rockyface, GA, USA. Never n knew what it was, it was beautiful. Thanks for posting. I would like to know what causes this and how often it happens.
 
50,000 years ago! how much such events may have occurred till today? we can hope that how amazing & mysterious the universe would be that we may able to know in the future.
 
The Drake Equations for estimating sentient life in the universe does not appear to take into account "minus the region of space hit by life-ending astrophysics". How many magnetar events like this would suffice to account for the Fermi Paradox? (Drake Equation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation )
 
There was one spotted in Calhoun, GA. USA at 2:30am. So yes they are real.
Colin m
 
Our protection seems to diminish every year,how much longer will we last?
 
Only God knows the answers to questions like that!! :-) Our job is to be
ready.
 
I can't really go to the science getaways vacation because i'm in London and the vacation is in USA 
 
 I blame the moles on my skin from this cosmic conspiracy
 
your choice for Chance meltdown of modern life- A solar flares or B Gamma radiation- vote now
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