Research NewsAstronomy

Supernova and Gamma Burst Might Have Common Source

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Science  19 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5371, pp. 1836
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5371.1836

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Govert Schilling SAN DIEGO-- A stellar explosion in a galaxy 140 million light-years away might turn out to be the Rosetta stone for scientists trying to make sense of mysterious events called gamma ray bursts (GRBs). The supernova, which two Dutch astronomers reported on 7 May, took place at about the same time and at the same point in the sky as a 25 April GRB. If the link between the supernova and the GRB holds up, it could favor a proposed scenario in which the collapse of a massive star--a process akin to the one that triggers many supernovae--sparks an outpouring of gamma rays.