Gamma Ray Bursts

Observing Alert: Distant Blazar 3C 454.3 in Outburst, Visible in Amateur Telescopes

by Bob King June 24, 2014

Have an 8-inch or larger telescope? Don’t mind staying up late? Excellent. Here’s a chance to stare deeper into the known fabric of the universe than perhaps you’ve ever done before. The violent blazer  3C  454.3 is throwing a fit again, undergoing its most intense outburst seen since 2010. Normally it sleeps away the months around […]

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ALMA Sheds New Light on ‘Dark’ Gamma-ray Bursts

by Shannon Hall June 11, 2014

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) represent the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, sending out as much energy in a matter of seconds as our Sun will give off during its entire 10-billion-year lifespan. These powerful explosions are thought to be triggered when dying stars collapse into jet-spewing black holes. Yet no one has ever witnessed a […]

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Update: Possible ‘Nearby’ Gamma Ray Burst Alert Was False Alarm

by Nancy Atkinson May 28, 2014

Following the late night news yesterday of a possible gamma ray burst in our next door neighboring galaxy Andromeda, it was an “Oh darn!” moment this morning to find out the big event was likely a false alarm. The false alert — and the ensuing false excitement — was due to an unlikely combination of […]

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Possible Gamma Ray Burst Detected in Andromeda, Would be Closest Ever Observed

by Nancy Atkinson May 28, 2014

Update (5/28/14 9:20 am EDT): This alert may have been a false alarm. Further analysis showed the initial brightness was overestimated by a factor of 300. An official circular from the Swift-XRT team says “therefore do not believe this source to be in outburst. Instead, it was a serendipitous constant source in the field of […]

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Surprise Gamma-Ray Burst Behaves Differently Than Expected

by Shannon Hall May 6, 2014

Roughly once a day the sky is lit up by a mysterious torrent of energy. These events — known as gamma-ray bursts — represent the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, sending out as much energy in a fraction of a second as our Sun will give off during its entire lifespan. Yet no one has […]

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