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Old 02-12-2011, 12:57 AM #1
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Default I thought there were no lasers in nature

Now that is one big laser....
Quote:
The laser is created as intense ultraviolet light from the star "pumps" or excites the densely packed hydrogen atoms in the gaseous, dusty disk surrounding the star. Then, when the infrared light shines on the excited hydrogen atoms, it causes the atoms to emit an intense beam of light at exactly the same wavelength, creating the circumstellar laser, according to Sean W. J. Colgan of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, Mountain View, CA, a co-investigator in the discovery.
MWC 349, Natural Infra Red Laser Star


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Old 02-12-2011, 04:25 PM #2
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Default Re: I thought there were no lasers in nature

Thats pretty cool!

I always like discoveries like these... and once again, nature has beaten us to building something awesome I wonder if there are similar phenomena with visible light as a result.

An now that we are on about astronomy, i've head some speculation that Betelgeuze might go supernova in our lifetimes... now that would be a truly unique thing to see. I think it would be as impressive as a full solar eclipse, but with the added benefit that everyone in the world can see it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:53 PM #3
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Default Re: I thought there were no lasers in nature

Wow, just amazing... The ongoing evolution of technology continues to kicks all forms of ass. Thanks for sharing!

...now imagine if we could build a giant 405-G lens in some Hubble telescope-like module & properly heatsink the whole thing!

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Old 02-14-2011, 12:34 AM #4
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Default Re: I thought there were no lasers in nature

I once read that natural lasing can occur in the Martian atmosphere.

EDIT - DUH, I found it on the same site as the OP

Laser History - Near Infrared Lasers on Mars and Venus
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