Death From Space—Gamma-Ray Bursts Explained

A gamma-ray burst might have caused the mass extinction 450 million years ago. The video introduces the concept of gamma rays and gamma-ray bursts. Then it explains what happens if they were to hit Earth and why we can't prepare for any that might hit us at any moment.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Learn more about the Ordovician extinction event
  • The video states that scientists observe one gamma-ray burst per day; research to discover whether that number has increased with better science
Classroom Considerations

  • Assumes prior knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum
Pros

  • Contains hidden TARDIS for Dr. Who fans
  • Cartoon graphics enhance the concepts
Cons

  • None