News of the WeekAstrophysics

Gamma Beams From a Collapsing Star

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Science  26 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5410, pp. 1993
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5410.1993a

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ATLANTA-- Astrophysicists see a spark of consensus emerging on the origins of mysterious gamma ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the cosmos today. The longest lived blasts, lasting 10 seconds or more, may arise when new black holes consume doomed stars far more massive than the sun and spit out intense beams of energy, according to work presented here this week at a meeting of the American Physical Society. But other bursts, lasting less than a second, remain unexplained.