NASA’s Swift satellite has detected a sudden burst of energy coming from our neighboring galaxy M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. It is unclear exactly what this is at the moment, either a gamma ray burst (GRB) or an ultra-luminous x-ray source (ULX), but both outcomes are very exciting, especially since this occurred so close to us.

If this energetic source turns out to be a gamma ray burst, it was likely created from a collision of neutron stars. If an ultra-luminousx-ray source, the cause would be a black hole consuming matter.

There is a lot of discussion about this happening on Twitter right now. Check out #GRBm31 for what astronomers and astrophysicists are saying.

More unfolding news on this HERE and HERE!

Related: previous posts on Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs).

helloyellojello  asked:

I'm an undergraduate physics major that's struggling right now. Any advice from the wise?

I don’t know how wise you think I am but I suppose I’ll try and pass along some wisdom I’ve picked up along the way.

Struggling and getting lost in the monkey house that is college is a normal experience but if you’re dead set on your major you will do whatever it takes to successfully complete your studies. You need to be totally dedicated to it, meaning you will need to sacrifice time you normally reserve for leisure and other activities unrelated to your education.

Physics is an extremely challenging major so don’t be surprised by the copious amounts of extra time you will need to dedicate to learning the material. I don’t know where you go to school but I’m sure if you look hard enough you will find a tutor that will be more than willing to help you. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. Their sole purpose is to help you retain the material you may be struggling with. 

Another resource you should take advantage of (if available)  is your professor(s). They do this for a living and if you can manage to put some sort of effort into vocalizing your particular dilemma I am almost positive they will put forth a similar effort into making sure you understand what they are trying to teach.

Everyone has a different experience in college. Some people have a smooth ride and many others will find a challenge no matter which way they turn. What your level of success is truly dependent on is the amount of dedication you put toward your studies and sacrifices you make that, in the long run, will open up more windows of opportunity for your future.

But I’m just a lowly biologist.

You should definitely ask Christine the Astrophysicist anymore questions regarding an education focused specifically in physics/mathematics.

I hope you found some form of wisdom in this and best of luck to you and your education!

christinetheastrophysicist  asked:

In regards to your recent post to science editors and contributors: I've noticed that a few times, multiple posts by different people of exactly the same topic are featured, most recently, the rogue planet posts from a few days ago. I think the science editors should look at the science tag first to confirm whether what they're about to feature hasn't already been featured umpteen times. The science tag gets boring when there's multiples of the same story/topic and not enough variety.

Thank you!! right? I noticed the same thing. I would see the same post by different people and it just looks like the editors don’t even bother skimming through the featured tag and see what’s already on there they just clock in their 10 features and call it a day regardless of what’s already there.

The science tag used to actually look pretty varied before but now it’s just looking more and more like repeats.