News of the WeekAstrophysics

Gamma Burst Promises Celestial Reprise

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Science  29 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5402, pp. 616
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5402.616

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Last Saturday, a gamma ray burst, one of the brightest of these mysterious blasts of gamma and x-rays, triggered satellite detectors. Two days later, after hunting down and analyzing the visible light from the burst source, astronomers concluded that the burst probably looked so bright because the gravity of a galaxy between Earth and the source focused its radiation toward us--the first such case found.