6/6/2006 6:03:53 PM
There is a NOVA special that discusses the fact that this and other galaxies appear to have large black holes at the cores of them, and that huge bursts of energy come from galaxies when these normally quiescent black holes feed, due to the stars releasing energy as the black hole tears them apart with tidal forces. Quasars, with massive radiation bursts seem to be just such galaxies.
The documentary also discussed the possible cyclic nature of these events, and the possibility that such radiation bursts could make impact on planets in their path.
If such an event occured, it would not destroy the earth, but could impact the viability of life exposed to that radiation. The end of life here might not require a red giant sun to give us need for 5 billion psf sunblock.