(and a handful of worrisome potential gamma ray bursters)
Oh yeah, I think I remember reading about those: aren't they the ones that if we should happen to lie along the axis of one of those, we're toast?
Those are the scary ones, yeah.
For those who didn't know to worry about this: gamma ray bursters when they explode are able to channel a disturbing amount of energy in to a very narrow cone, so that they'd be able to fry an ecosystem at a substantial fraction of the galaxy's width. Literally: some models of the star WR 104 suggest it could kill by radiation poisoning whichever side of the Earth is facing it when it sends off a ten-second burst. WR 104 is eight thousand light-years away
. (More recent models suggest it's pointing in a direction far enough away as to not be much of a threat to Earth. Good for us if that's so.)
(This is why I'm willing to give Star Trek 2009
a pass on its ``supernova that threatens the galaxy'' business. If the supernova is a gamma ray burster type, then, yeah, threatening the inhabited galaxy is an economical way to describe the threat. It would have saved the filmmakers a lot of tech fanboy whining if they said gamma ray burster, but ``supernova'' communicates with the audience faster and saves time for the lens to flare more.)