Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Worldwide Hunt To Solve The Mystery Of Gamma-ray Bursts

Date:
February 22, 2008
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Space scientists report on new discoveries about gamma ray bursts obtained from the Swift satellite and coordinated observations from a global network of ground based telescopes. Gamma-ray bursts are short-lived events, lasting between a few milliseconds to a few minutes. The brightest of them emit more energy in a few seconds than our Sun will emit in its whole 10 billion year lifetime. Gamma ray bursts are occurring several times daily somewhere in the universe, fortunately at huge distances from our solar system. These fleeting explosions are precursors to the births of black holes.

UK space scientist Emeritus Professor Alan Wells discussed the breadth of international collaborations in new discoveries about gamma ray bursts obtained from the Swift satellite and coordinated observations from a global network of ground based telescopes at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

Gamma-ray bursts are short-lived events, lasting between a few milliseconds to a few minutes. The brightest of them emit more energy in a few seconds than our Sun will emit in its whole 10 billion year lifetime. Gamma ray bursts are occurring several times daily somewhere in the universe, fortunately at huge distances from our solar system. These fleeting explosions are precursors to the births of black holes.

The Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer satellite is a NASA mission with substantial UK and Italian participation. Swift was designed to solve the mystery of the origin of gamma ray bursts by pinpointing the burst and measuring the emissions from the huge fireball that occurs in the first few seconds of the burst's lifetime.

Scientists at Leicester's Space Research Centre are part of the international team working on the Swift, having had a major role in the development of the X-ray telescope, which has been responsible for many of the discoveries made by Swift.

Since its launch in 2004, Swift has discovered over 292 gamma-ray bursts, and pin-pointed a further 320 bursts detected by other satellites. Swift's rapid response - it was named after the bird, which catches its prey "on the fly" - has been critical to understanding these titanic events.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Worldwide Hunt To Solve The Mystery Of Gamma-ray Bursts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216114853.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2008, February 22). Worldwide Hunt To Solve The Mystery Of Gamma-ray Bursts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216114853.htm
University of Leicester. "Worldwide Hunt To Solve The Mystery Of Gamma-ray Bursts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216114853.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 22, 2014) — Russian cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev step outside the International Space Station to perform work on the exterior of the station's Russian module. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) — Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins