New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

The Effects of Gamma-ray Burst to the Earth

Team: 93

School: Santa Fe High

Area of Science: Earth and Space Sciences

Definition of the problem:
The gamma-ray bursts are flashes of gamma rays with extremely energetic explosions in galaxies and can be made by the collision of neutron stars or massive star. Throughout the history, GRBs have never happened nearly the Earth that can make the effects to us. However, many scientists predict that someday the GRBs will be occurred and its ray can send to the Earth, and harm many lives in Earth including human as well. So, our team has focused to solve the problem about the distance from earth and the source where produced the GRBs, which is the collision of neutron stars, and figure out how far of the distance and how great of its rays that can harm the lives in the Earth. In addition, the simulation of GRB source and the Earth can help scientist to predict how much energy that the Earth will receive and how much maximum distance between the Earth and GRB source that not make any damage for the life on the Earth.

Problem Solution:
Our team will use Netlogo and Java for programming the data and calculate the distance between GRB source and Earth as input and the amount of rays and energies from GRBs is as output or the result that we want to get and analyze this amount of energy compare with the data of energy of the Sun that can make cancer to human or harm other species. Then, we will use python to visualize the direction and magnitude of gamma ray from GRBs source to the Earth. To collecting data, we also plan on collecting data from the Los Alamos lab here in Santa Fe, and also possibly form Sandia National Laboratory.

Description of the progress:
Over the past few weeks, our group has contacted several astronomers and computer programmers. This includes, but is not limited to: Christopher Hoope, Dave Dixon,and Jessica Baumgaertel. We have set up meetings, but have changed our plans, due to conflicting schedules
So far our team has gotten in contact with the astronomer Mr. Laud, but due to his busy schedule, he is not able to work with us. However, he has spoken to some his colleagues about us and we hope for a mentor in one of them. Our sponsor Ms. Nugent had also shown us a past project that has been done on Gamma rays, and even though this one is a different topic that ours, we plan on using it to further plan our final report outline.

Expected Results:
Our team expect that after collecting data from the Sandia Laboratory and Using Java and netlogo for programming, then we can find out exactly at what distance the collision of these stars have to occur so that the emission of the radiation they emit do not affect life on earth. Therefore in the future, we could be alert during any collision of starts, to ensure that they are not close enough to the earth for their radiation to cause any damage.

The Citations:
John, L., Hagerman, K., Hutchings, T., & Morgan, G. Gamma ray burtsers.
Wikipedia. (2009). Gamma-ray burst. Gamma ray-burst. Retrieved by December 9, 2012, from
Los Alamos National Lab
Sandia National Lab
NASA and Air Force

Team Members:

  Yomi Tadfor
  Tiyaporn Tangpradabkul
  Elizabeth Sanchez

Sponsoring Teacher: Anita Nugent

Mail the entire Team

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