For many years, scientists have attempted to predict how life on Earth would end. Now, some speculate that a gamma-ray burst from a black hole located light years away could reach Earth and kill all of us without a warning.
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are like powerful lasers firing in space. As stated in the video posted by Kurzgesagt on YouTube, the energy from a single gamma ray photon is more powerful than one million photons combined.
There are two forms of GRBs: large burst and short burst. Large gamma-ray burst forms when supernovae die and collapse into a black hole. Short burst is also created by a black hole but takes millions of years to develop and only lasts a second while the large burst lasts for a minute.
The spinning motion of gaseous magnetic disk gas surrounding the black hole intensifies the magnetic field and forms a funnel of hot particles. The gas inside the funnel creates two focused jets of celestial gamma-rays that can burst out of the black hole at almost the speed of light.
Although the Earth gets constantly exposed to GRBs, it remains unaffected because these bursts do not specifically target it. However, if the GRBs came from only a few light years away and pointed at us, it would undoubtedly destroy the side of the planet it hits.
The GRBs that will destroy all of us should come within the galaxy. Fortunately, scientists have not discovered GRBs from the Milky Way.
GRBs are also theorized to be the cause of the mass extinction that happened 450 million years ago. Many scientists believe that this event wiped out 85 percent of marine species.
Other scientists also think that GRBs are the reason why we have not encountered any aliens. Science Alert reports that GRBs could have also killed extraterrestrial life.