News of the WeekAstrophysics

Lucky Star Sheds Light On Gamma Ray Burst

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Science  06 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5489, pp. 26-27
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5489.26b

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Astrophysicists have glimpsed the expanding O left by the afterglow of a distant gamma ray burst. A well-placed star, they believe, accidentally acted as a telescope, focusing light from the O so that more of it reached Earth. The resulting "microlensing" may have given scientists their first direct evidence that gamma ray bursts blow fiery bubbles into the cosmos.