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Closing In on the Cause of the Cosmos's Biggest Blasts

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Science  05 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5565, pp. 41
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5565.41

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Astronomers may have detected the glimmer of a supernova explosion in the fading afterglow of a titanic gamma ray burst (GRB). The new results support the popular idea that GRBs--the most energetic explosions in the universe--are the birth cries of black holes, the collapsed remnants of dying stars. A second team studying supernova debris near another GRB has strengthened the black hole connection, but its observations challenge the conventional wisdom on the sequence of events.