Gamma Ray Bursters

Gamma-Ray bursters are powerful sources of Gamma-Ray emission that appear as short-duration "bursts" of gamma-ray emission. Bursts can last for some tenths of a second or as long as 10 minutes. Half of the have durations between 10 and 100 seconds.

Most of these bursts have been recorded by the BATSE detector on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory GRO. About once a day, a burst of gamma rays appears from some direction in the sky. Often a single burst can outshine the rest of the gamma ray sources seen throughout the sky. Then, the source disappears from the sky. What causes the burst is the question. Bursts are believed to be associated with tremendous explosions, perhaps when two black holes or neutron stars collide or when the rotating core of a massive star collapses.

A single GRB may radiate in gamma-rays 3000 times as much energy as the Sun does in its whole lifetime.

Click here to link to the main page of the Gamma Ray Coordinates Network where you can find out about the latest detections by the BATSE instrument.

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