Extinction by Gamma-Ray Burst | Space Time

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Previous Episode:
The Origin of Our First Interstellar Visitor
Gamma-ray bursts are much less common than regular supernovae, and in fact regular supernovae can do just as much damage as a GRB. However, for a supernova to produce the same effects it needs to be much closer - within 20 to 30 light years. There are definitely no stars in that range that could explode any time soon. However the Sun isn’t stationary. It orbits the Milky Way, and its galactic neighbors come and go. Maybe in a few 250-million-year orbits we stellar timebomb will wander into our vicinity. However it’s really the GRBs that are most likely to hit us first, and hit us more often. We should certainly expect one in the next half-to-one-billion years, even if it’s not WR104.
Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
Written by Matt O'Dowd
Produced by Rusty Ward
Graphics by Kurt Ross
Assistant Editing and Sound Design by Mike Petrow and Meah Denee Barrington
Made by Kornhaber Brown (www.kornhaberbrown.com)
Special thanks to our Patreon Big Bang, Quasar and Hypernova Supporters:
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Thanks to our Patreon Gamma Ray Burst Supporters:
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  1. SyriusStar Multimedia

    SyriusStar Multimedia11 өдрийн өмнө

    Hey Matt it’s a death ray. Matt: Hunches shoulders. Continues sipping tea.

  2. Matthew Bernobich

    Matthew BernobichСарын өмнө

    this guy projecting humanity into the next millions of years as if we won't die from climate catastrophe by 2100 (if i'm being generous)

  3. Matthew Bernobich

    Matthew Bernobich7 өдрийн өмнө

    @Corey well climate catastrophe is already happening, so why not both?

  4. Corey

    Corey7 өдрийн өмнө

    Pffft, I'll see your climate catastrophe and raise you one all out nuclear war.

  5. emixiak

    emixiakСарын өмнө

    Imagine a single bee somewhere on the other side of the globe. The probability of extinction by a gamma-ray burst is less than you ever happen to swallow that bee.

  6. roger thornton

    roger thorntonСарын өмнө

    I hope none of this hurts too much.

  7. D Wr

    D WrСарын өмнө

    “We should except one in about 1/2 to 1 billion years” My brain: “Well crap looks like the world is ending next week.”

  8. m dl

    m dlСарын өмнө

    Uhhmm... PBS..... Betelgeuse??? Red supergiant kinda dimned a LOT in less than a month, 642 ly close? Max est 100000y min estimate, already happened???

  9. m dl

    m dl7 өдрийн өмнө

    @Corey Yeah, I guess you are not too good at reading sarcasm and fast paced chat, I wouldn't throw stones from a glass house. Oh, great positive comment, added a lot by the way.

  10. Corey

    Corey7 өдрийн өмнө

    Nobody will ever take you seriously if you don't learn how to type and speak properly.

  11. Donald Belobraydic

    Donald BelobraydicСарын өмнө

    Smoke um if you got um.

  12. Kaleb Heng

    Kaleb HengСарын өмнө

    Bruh you would look like lord Farquad with out the beard

  13. Ryan B

    Ryan BСарын өмнө

    We are actually already in the era of a "gamma ray maximum". According to the EPA, gamma ray levels currently exceed 10000 CPM. According to Bob Nichols' "Your Radiation This Week", this means gamma radiation is at Extinction Level Event levels which may explain the mass extinction reportedly underway. Nichols claims the source of this radiation is nuclear power plants. But is it? Could it be extra-terrestrial in origin? mngos.info/video/qMDVhYqpYZrLhYo.html

  14. Bruce Zar

    Bruce ZarСарын өмнө

    PBS. The home of socialists fake news & quasi science with a nihilistic twist. In summary, their products are irelevant boring & misinforming.

  15. Corey

    Corey7 өдрийн өмнө

    Go back to your meth lab you rube.

  16. Dave Van Der REE

    Dave Van Der REEСарын өмнө

    its online 5000 years away if it explodes.

  17. Nick Walker

    Nick WalkerСарын өмнө

    I feel like PBS Eons had a few things to say in this episode =)

  18. Man Man

    Man ManСарын өмнө

    The end of the universe is a theory, so don’t worry.

  19. mrg zlkm

    mrg zlkmСарын өмнө

    Almost everything is a theory

  20. GrimJerr

    GrimJerr2 сарын өмнө

    23&Me We want your DNA, for our clone factory.

  21. Brother Sebi

    Brother Sebi2 сарын өмнө

    GrB: "hey Earth, I'm go'one git yuw." Earth: "no u ain't, I got me a TinFoil hat Ha!" GrB: "oh hot dawg!! Wait, is that foil from the £1 shop?" Earth:"what this? No, it's..ah..Moon, quick ruuunn..!!" *Zeeapp!!*

  22. nosuchthing8

    nosuchthing82 сарын өмнө

    Who knew that there are actual death stars

  23. Pete 952

    Pete 9522 сарын өмнө

    Fascinating stuff. Unavoidable, yes. Did you do a video on the current transition from the Halocene to the Anthropocene? This is the Mass Extinction occurring right now. Mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects and well, pretty much all life is taking as much as a 70% reduction. Apparently people don't really care about polar bears dying off. But, they support a Traitor that takes us out of a non-binding climate agreement. Nice touch. Support your local zoo, that's all you're going to have left.

  24. Mike M-01

    Mike M-012 сарын өмнө

    Is pessimism a prerequisite for brilliance? Faces of death for astrophysicists. Seriously.

  25. Corey

    Corey7 өдрийн өмнө

    Would you rather everyone just bury their heads in the sand and claim that nothing is wrong and we'll live forever off of our endless reserves of gasoline, like Republicans do?

  26. Scott T

    Scott T2 сарын өмнө

    The last major extinction was only about 12,000 yrs ago,when the last ice-age ended and 70% of earths "Mega-fauna" suddenly died off.We have always been told that human "over hunting" caused the death of the Wooly Mammoth,but there were 2 other species of Mammoth disapeared,along with around 120 other Mega-fauna species like the "Giant Sloth" and "Sabre-toothed Tiger".Humans were also nearly wiped out.The "Clovis Culture" in N. America also disapeared from the archaological record,ALL at the same time.There r now vast amounts of evidence,put forward by around 60 major scientists,that show at the time these animals vanished there r impact proxies and a "black mat" layer in the soil,carbon dated at the same time as the extinctions.They currently believe that earth met the pieces of a disintegrating comet and may have suffered many impacts over the space of about 20 years.The scientific community has been heavily resisting this theory for decades,but now there is so much evidence proving that the last ice-age ended cataclysmically,with most of the vast ice sheets covering N. America & Europe vanishing in maybe as little as a few decades,raising sea levels 120 meters in several catastrophic "meltwater pulses",which is probably the event that gave rise to all the flood "myths" worldwide,making them actual history and not mere mythical stories...

  27. Scott T

    Scott T7 өдрийн өмнө

    @Corey who is claiming anything about the Bible

  28. Corey

    Corey7 өдрийн өмнө

    There is so much wrong with your statements, I don't even know where to begin. If you're implying the bible was correct about floods, which I assume is what you mean by mythical floods, it is off by almost 10,000 years. Also, according to that same bible the earth is only 6000 years old. So that's really dumb. Secondly, the Bible claimed rain caused these floods. So that's also dumb. Third, ice ages are cyclic periods, we're technically still in an ice age. We're just in a warming period, being accelerated by our CO2 and methane release, which also looks like it will prevent the next cooling period. Fourth, asteroid or comet strikes cause global cooling due to the amount of particulate in the atmosphere blocking sunlight. They wouldn't cause a massive glacial melt. Finally, there isn't enough water on the entire planet to flood the earth, so no, "melt water pulses" did not raise sea levels hundreds of feet. Stop trying to use science to prove an inherently anti science religion right, because it will only make you look dumb.

  29. James LeDuke

    James LeDuke2 сарын өмнө

    I'm pretty sure I've heard a solution proposed elsewhere. We can't stop the GRB, but you can avoid it or block it. For instance, an advanced space-faring civilization could use a shkadov thruster to move either their star system, or the threatening star. Or, you could just put a large slab of metal between Earth and a potential GRB that can either reflect gamma rays or absorb them.

  30. Julian Crooks

    Julian Crooks2 сарын өмнө

    Gamma ray blast hits and we turn into hulk planet with everyone becomes a hulk

  31. Stevie Butla

    Stevie Butla3 сарын өмнө

    Fuck ..... fuck ..... fuck the gods

  32. Kyo PR

    Kyo PR3 сарын өмнө

    I get triggered by your hands your not smart by reading a script :v

  33. Haywood Jablomie

    Haywood Jablomie3 сарын өмнө

    Head says I'm a man but the body says I still haven hit puberty. Weird...

  34. Steve Rodgers

    Steve Rodgers3 сарын өмнө

    As an armchair cosmologist I have considered the inherent dangers of GRB's for decades. Undoubtedly most regions in our galaxy feature more intense stellar populations. Particularly toward the core How many countless life dwelling worlds have been sterilized by these Hypernovas and GRBs? Perhaps because of these calamities only less dense regions such as the edges of outer spiral arms are safe for life to abide. Living and substaining organisms may the the rarest commadity in the Universe.

  35. W D

    W D4 сарын өмнө


  36. •OrenjiSmol•

    •OrenjiSmol•4 сарын өмнө

    Okay, but have you seen my parents the second the car door closes after a parent teacher conference?

  37. Don Fields

    Don Fields4 сарын өмнө

    Last one 65 million years ago, avg ever 100 million years, oh well i guess the 6th extinction is ahead of the curve, coming a bit earlier than avg. stooopid humans

  38. Rachel Raja kumari

    Rachel Raja kumari4 сарын өмнө

    We want to go to mars to live

  39. Dragrath1

    Dragrath14 сарын өмнө

    This extinction has now been fairly convincingly to the break up of the L Chondrite progenitor body in the Asteroid belt around 470 mya within a paper published in Science Advances this September linking shocked quartz within L chondrite meteorites dated to this time by radioisotopic analysis the order of magnitude increase in fossilized meteorites seen with a relatively extreme bias toward L chondrite meteorites and more conclusively identifying a significant increase in He3 and Osmium within Ordovician sediments consistent with L Chondrite meteorites. So in this case the GRB scenario seems to have been ruled out but the threat can't be dismissed

  40. ST3ALTHY

    ST3ALTHY4 сарын өмнө

    This is fake I looked it up like if u agree

  41. James LeDuke

    James LeDuke2 сарын өмнө

    You're fake. I looked it up, therefore it must be true. /sarcasm

  42. Andy Goldie

    Andy Goldie5 сарын өмнө

    Yeah but let's not forget that a similar bunch of privately educated arseholes told us the pyramids were built by a group of hunter-gatherers on holiday from gathering in only six weeks. Honestly, when will we taxpayers wakeup and insist we must stop funding such privately educated nonsense privilege. You lot are starting to make politicians look positively charitable.

  43. Josh Marlett

    Josh Marlett5 сарын өмнө

    I think the hulk would disagree

  44. TimmacTR

    TimmacTR5 сарын өмнө

    “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”

  45. didgerich

    didgerich5 сарын өмнө


  46. Adam Hudson

    Adam Hudson5 сарын өмнө

    Andromeda Way

  47. Phillip Brewster

    Phillip Brewster5 сарын өмнө

    Its far mor likely we will all kill each other by putting sociopaths in charge of nuclear weapons

  48. Surya Adi

    Surya Adi5 сарын өмнө

    Fuck You.

  49. NorthernChev

    NorthernChev5 сарын өмнө

    LOL... Ya don't hear from 23&Me anymore. Heh.

  50. Rich Rich

    Rich Rich5 сарын өмнө

    How the hell do I block this channel, there's too many jerks who have little knowledge and believe there smart

  51. Clint Whatley

    Clint Whatley5 сарын өмнө

    One of the wildest discoveries is the universe is Finite. Macro and Microcosm

  52. necromancer

    necromancer5 сарын өмнө

    Maybe that star has already gone supernova and GRB is on it's way to earth

  53. J Gillespie

    J Gillespie6 сарын өмнө

    It's aimed right at us. Pissed off God anymore the two will collide gamma burst goodbye.

  54. Rocco Gant

    Rocco Gant6 сарын өмнө

    just make sure the GRB gets all the demorats first......

  55. Pablo Longobard

    Pablo Longobard6 сарын өмнө

    Correct me if im wrong but at the end he assumed responsibility for the disasters in behalf of the channel

  56. Leonidas The Great

    Leonidas The Great6 сарын өмнө

    CFCs have taken care of the ozone layer already.

  57. Paul Wedlock

    Paul Wedlock6 сарын өмнө

    Nitrous oxide is a good source of ammonium nitrate ( plant food. It just requires ammonium to interact with.

  58. theRealPlaidRabbit

    theRealPlaidRabbit7 сарын өмнө

    Wait, have we settled that protons do indeed decay? Last I knew that was still open. Maybe I was asleep at the time.

  59. Dirk Knight

    Dirk Knight6 сарын өмнө

    One can never fully settle that question. We do know that proton decay has a half life of far longer than 10^30 years, which means that something should be around in the universe for probably longer than 10^50 or 10^60. Since black holes are probably stabilizing proton decay, though, a more realistic estimate for the continued existence of matter is > 10^100 years based on current theory, I believe. All of this depends of the cosmological constant, which could blow all this shit apart much, much sooner, of course.

  60. 八雲紫

    八雲紫7 сарын өмнө

    Master Spark solves everything.

  61. Dormouse

    Dormouse7 сарын өмнө

    So why bother with climate change?

  62. James LeDuke

    James LeDuke2 сарын өмнө

    Ask the robots that got sent to Venus. Oh, wait. They lasted a couple hours before melting. And we don't need worst case (Venus) levels of climate change to kill us all.

  63. James Konzek

    James Konzek7 сарын өмнө

    So your saying we're fucked, we're all fucked !!

  64. Richard Deese

    Richard Deese8 сарын өмнө

    Yeah, those nitrous oxides are really NOXious! :o) 𝓡𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲 𝓣𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲.

  65. David Cajthaml

    David Cajthaml8 сарын өмнө

    Never? We will *never* have the technology to stop a GRB?

  66. Tom C

    Tom C8 сарын өмнө

    But but but I thought we only have 12 years left because of global warming?

  67. matthew benard

    matthew benard8 сарын өмнө

    The United stats of embarasment should be microwaved by steler radiation. cook the stupid out of them...sadly they would just blame the dems. and continue to destroy our planet.

  68. matthew benard

    matthew benard8 сарын өмнө

    I like the way you think.. But lets be real with the Worlds powers, as they are would never put 1 cent towards saving the planet. And dont give a fuck about it cause they will be dead and gone B4 anyo of this happens.. its their kids and their kids who will pay to real price for there greed and inaction.. Ei. the USA fuckers will kill us all.

  69. Jeannette Lelko

    Jeannette Lelko8 сарын өмнө

    All about the day before well now about the day after . What will happen if you had to go to the grave with this. Somebody knows and that ought to satisfy for the moment.

  70. Jeannette Lelko

    Jeannette Lelko8 сарын өмнө

    They suffer us they suffer none they are free from all its burdens because they have learned from this and that has never been the problem I hope to God it wasn't everything they expected it to be because according magnetic force what goes up will come back to you in its own length of time and it will have to be sooner or later.goodluck and more prayers .

  71. Jeannette Lelko

    Jeannette Lelko8 сарын өмнө

    I actually listened to an article about Japan sending a space ship to the sun . Our poles are already suffered now its sitting inside a solar path that doesnt allow us to see the shuttle without destruction it actually gave a look like the heart was stopped and its magnetic forces can not learn us an inclusive camera production but if it were deep in the sun it would be destroyed and in far worse shape and now go find it loser its been found loosens the straps that says its already made ruins of many and now it will have served us as no good because we weren't that exceptional in this space tour and it's going to be a permanent problem. Just like as nothing happened and as ll the answers have been programmed .

  72. DreadnoughtMetal2006

    DreadnoughtMetal20068 сарын өмнө

    It's amazing to think that people have the arrogance to say that humans will be here to witness it. If humanity makes it the next 25 years, I'll be fucking amazed.

  73. Eric The traveling scuba diving bugman

    Eric The traveling scuba diving bugman8 сарын өмнө

    Another end of the world senario, AOC becomes POTUS in two years...

  74. Eric Pham

    Eric Pham8 сарын өмнө

    With gamma ray, beta ray, etc I don't know why do we need AK 47 or M18?

  75. dirt man

    dirt man8 сарын өмнө

    pbs is scaring me

  76. JSQ 769

    JSQ 7699 сарын өмнө

    Global warming will cause the next GRB.

  77. JSQ 769

    JSQ 7699 сарын өмнө

    Global warming will cause the next GRB.

  78. xXdogeofthenorthXx ,

    xXdogeofthenorthXx ,9 сарын өмнө

    What about a big crunch

  79. luis

    luis9 сарын өмнө

    extinction by G5 technology

  80. Doc Holiday

    Doc Holiday9 сарын өмнө

    GRBs happen when a black/white hole sucks in an entire star and shoots all it's light directly at us. Think Einstein-Rosen Bridge where the ass end is pointed right at us. We can't see/detect gamma ray bursts that are not pointed directly at us. The video does a great job of explaining the inverse square law of light. (The principal holds true for gravity and electromagnetism.) When a supernova occurs, the light is dispersed in all directions more or less equally. As that light expands outward it gets more and more diluted, as if it were trying to fill up the entire Galaxy. A gamma ray burst is shot out in a very narrow beam in only one direction. The inverse square law of light doesn't apply. That is why they appear brighter than the entire universe.



    Fucked up retarded alien simulated reality. Computer nerd space fags who sit on computers all day. An evil purposely cruel reality.

  82. Justin Todd

    Justin Todd9 сарын өмнө

    Where does the radiation go? Just fly around forever? Or does it have an actual purpose?

  83. Din Djarin

    Din Djarin9 сарын өмнө


  84. matthew benard

    matthew benard9 сарын өмнө

    HAHAH i like you optomisum. But lets think about that? At the rate this we are killing the planet and war's based on personal bias and greed. The way we are rolling back protections for eco systems, and dangerous fracking of the planet. NO the Earth is irreperably damaged. And everyday we are finding new ways to kill our home. we will not last another 100 years. Not at the rate, we are self destructing. And to add, compared to all other living things on our home, we are the only ones responsible for this self destruction,... well us and Trump.

  85. E K

    E K9 сарын өмнө

    Isn’t there supposed to be a solar shield on our solar system? Also, the UV radiation would be coming from our sun while the gamma rays would be coming from outside our solar system, and the theory presented assumes that one event (UV) would be immediately followed by gamma radiation. This assumes two large bodies acting almost in concert.

  86. E K

    E K9 сарын өмнө

    Beware, the end is near.

  87. judgegixxer

    judgegixxer9 сарын өмнө

    There won't be any humans around in 100-500 years from now let alone when Andomeda merges with Milky Way lol. Also I would never ever hand my DNA over to "23 and me" or any other online genetic data pilfering scam. It's bad enough big brother already knows I watched this video and made this comment.

  88. The Horr0r

    The Horr0r10 сарын өмнө

    Hundreds of thousands of times brighter than our sun. I had to pause from bafflement.

  89. Global Visory - Social Media Screening

    Global Visory - Social Media Screening10 сарын өмнө

    We are selling BionicPlants.com (look it up)

  90. Yours Truely

    Yours Truely10 сарын өмнө

    We are blasted everyday with grb..s but from longer distances

  91. Command Block

    Command Block10 сарын өмнө

    Imma firing my lazor!! Buahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

  92. j morrison

    j morrison11 сарын өмнө

    What about Betelgeuse, isn't it 600 ish light years away and likely to cause a gamma ray burst.

  93. Captive Exile

    Captive Exile11 сарын өмнө

    Once destroyed, the OZONE LAYER will take decades to repair, not weeks. The antarctic ozone hole is still not fully healed...and Weddel seals have been BLINDED by the excess UV rays (they lack Polaroid sunglasses). Have a nice day. It's still far in the future (chances are) but SCIENCE STILL RULES, so "go north" if it happens (toward northern climes where the UV rays come in at a low angle). CHEERS (God is going to make a "new heavens" and also a "new earth" wherein dwell righteousness (and all Trumpis "red caps" will be forgotten and forever banned to hell). Psalms 11 & 12 tell me so (the wicked walk on every side when what is vile is exalted).