Brightest of a sequence of images of the gamma ray burst
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of ROTSE
Scientists Image Gamma Ray Burst As It Occurs
News story originally written on January 30, 1999
Last week scientists took the first pictures of a gamma ray burst
as it was happening.
The burst was first detected by the Burst and Transient Source Experiment
(BASTE) aboard the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Less than 22 seconds
later, scientists with the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment
(ROTSE) began to take pictures of the event. Then the burst reached peak
intensity in only five seconds.
Before this last event, scientists had only been able to catch the fading
glow of a gamma ray burst. Hopefully these images and other collected
using similar automated detection systems will help scientists determine
what causes these bursts.
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