Cominsky, Lynn Department of Physics and Astronomy, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California.
Last reviewed:November 2018
Show previous versions
- Gamma-ray bursts, published 2016:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Gamma-ray bursts, published June 2013:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- History of observations
- March 1979 event
- CGRO observations
- Discovery of afterglows and distances
- Observations with burst alert systems
- Observational properties
- Long duration bursts
- Short duration bursts
- Important observations of individual GRBs
- Other phenomena
- Present and future studies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Short cosmic blasts of very high energy electromagnetic radiation (gamma radiation) that are recorded at an average of about once per day by detectors placed above the Earth's atmosphere. At distances of billions of light-years, the energy emitted in a gamma-ray burst (GRB) is more than a billion billion (1018) times the energy emitted each second by the Sun (Fig. 1). The mechanism for the origin of gamma-ray bursts remains a focus of current research. Gamma-ray bursts longer than 2 s appear to be associated with the supernova explosions of massive stars in distant galaxies. Recent evidence supports that shorter gamma-ray bursts are the result of merging neutron stars or black holes, although other explanations are also possible. There are indications that both types of gamma-ray bursts lead to the birth of black holes. See also: Black hole; Galaxy; Gamma rays; Neutron star; Star; Supernova
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information