Tag Archives: GRB

Gamma Ray Burst GCN 17949 – Detected!

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*** UPDATE ***
I just received a reply from NASA about this GRB and I was told that the likelihood that I had detected it was very low. This does not mean I did not, but it casts doubt upon this detection. Perhaps I detected a cosmic ray or other such event at the same time? It is not impossible that this was a valid detection, but I will likely never know, given my equipment.
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So… the sky is cloudy and the rains won’t end. How are we supposed to watch the sky? To the perspective of a high energy photon, our nights are totally clear!

I have detected more cosmic phenomena with my particle detectors! I am posting this not just to show off the finds, but also to encourage others to try the same things! 🙂 Science is super fun.

Please see the pictures for a better visual explanation.

Gamma Ray Burst GCN 17949
This morning around 9:28:26 AM Eastern Date Time, the NASA SWIFT space craft’s Burst Alert Telescope detected a GRB from the V404 Cygni binary star systems (this system has a black hole and either a later G or early K start [thanks Wikipedia]). The black hole is slowly consuming the gas from the companion star. X-rays and occasional GRB’s are emitted. SWIFT quickly slewed to the location and started recording data…

Somewhere in a closest on the East Coast of the USA, someone else was watching too lol

My x-ray detector started logging spikes (10 second bin counts) exceeding 2σ [my arbitrary point of interest]. 124 seconds after the original BAT trigger, SWIFT noted a climb in x-ray flux in the 15 keV to 350 keV range. My UCS30 was in 300 second batch spectrum mode and producing a new spectrum from 124 keV to 5.5 MeV. I examined the spectrum for that time period and I found a peak around ~282 keV. Using a 95% two tailed confidence, I detected 28.3343786561 counts within the peak area above the expected background.

Now, the GRB occurred below my horizon, so I suspect these were secondary x-rays from higher energy reactions, as well as attenuated photons from the x-ray afterglow (this occurred 124 seconds into the GRB, which is about right for this).

GCN17949

GCN17949

Links:

SWIFT Data http://gcn.gsfc.nasa.gov/other/645176.swift
NASA Data http://gcn.gsfc.nasa.gov/gcn3/17949.gcn3
My Data http://anti-proton.com/Test_T10.txt

Equipment Used (In case you wanted to know)

Detectors:

Gamma Rays: Sodium Iodide Thallium Doped Probe
NaI(Tl) 38.1mm x 38.1mm Cuylindrical (Radiation Sensors SDA38, 10 stage PMT)
Spectrum Techniques UCS30 1024 Channel MCA
Configuration:
Multi Channel Scaling mode.
60s Dwell Time, Fine Gain 1, Coarse Gain 1, 650v+
124 keV – 5.5 MeV
Batch Spectrum mode.
300s Run Time, 1 Sec Delay, Fine Gain 1, Coarse Gain 1, 650v+
124 keV – 5.5 MeV

X-Rays: Cesium Iodide Thallium Doped Probe
CsI(Tl) SE International RAP47 X-Ray Probe (25.4mm x 25.4mm)
Gamma Spectacular GS1100A Voltage Driver
PRA 8.0 Software MCA
Configuation:
Multi Channel Scaling mode.
10s Dwell Time, Volume 100, Boost 20dB, 800v+
8 keV – 140 keV

Catch All Geiger Counter:
SE International Inspector USB
LND7317 “Pancake” Geiger Muller probe
5 keV – greater than 5 MeV