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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
In the 1960's, the United States launched some satellites to look for very high energy light, called Gamma Rays. Gamma Rays are produced whenever a nuclear bomb explodes. The satellites found many bursts...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more