The locations of all 2704 Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE in the 9 year mission.
Click on image for full size
NASA, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, BATSE Team
Gamma Ray Bursts - The Most Powerful Objects in the Universe?
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 of Gamma Rays, but they
were not coming from explosions on Earth. They were coming
from outer space.
Modern satellites have found thousands of these Gamma
Ray Bursts. They happen about once a day and come from all over
the sky, as the map shows. There are two types of bursts. Some
are short, lasting less than 2 seconds. Others are longer,
bursting for as long as 1000 seconds. We now think that
all Gamma Ray Bursts come from the creation of black holes in
distant galaxies. The two types of bursts come from two different
ways to make a black hole.
Short Gamma Ray Bursts come from two neutron stars orbiting each
other. They slowly lose energy and merge together to form a black
hole. The gamma rays come from debris falling into the black hole.
Long Gamma Ray Bursts come from the deaths of very massive stars.
At the end of their lives, these stars collapse and explode as a
type of supernova. The gamma rays shoot out along jets from these
You might also be interested in:
Neutron Stars are the end point of a massive star's life. When a really massive star runs out of nuclear fuel in its core the core begins to collapse under gravity. When the core collapses the entire star...more
Scientists and students have designed a new satellite called Firefly for the CubeSat program. The Firefly satellite is the size of a loaf of bread and consists of three cubes attached end to end in a rectangular...more
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
During the early 1900's, which is not very long ago, astronomers were unaware that there were other galaxies outside our own Milky Way Galaxy. When they saw a small fuzzy patch in the sky through their...more
Spiral galaxies may remind you of a pinwheel. They are rotating disks of mostly hydrogen gas, dust and stars. Through a telescope or binoculars, the bright nucleus of the galaxy may be visible but the...more
When stars like our own sun die they will become white dwarfs. As a star like our sun is running out of fuel in its core it begins to bloat into a red giant. This will happen to our sun in 5 Billion years....more
What's in a Name: Arabic for "head of the demon" Claim to Fame: Represents Medusa's eye in Perseus. A special variable star that "winks" every 3 days. Type of Star: Blue-white Main Sequence Star, and...more