This episode of Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End examines what would happen if Earth was hit with a massive gamma-ray Burst.
Gamma-rays are the brightest electromagnetic radiation in the universe and can last just a few milliseconds or for hours. Scientists theorised they were caused by the creation of black holes or when neutron stars collided into each other.
Then in 2011 NASA ran some super computer simulations that backed this theory up. The simulations showed that both black holes and short gamma-ray bursts are produced by these types of stars colliding.
It seems when the stars merge and the black hole is created, for a while their combined magnetic fields reach levels a thousand times their original. This combined with their state of disarray and crazy temperatures of over 18 billion degrees Fahrenheit create the conditions necessary for a burst to form.
But what impact would such a burst have on Earth?
Catch Doomsday – Gamma Ray Burst at 10 PM on History.