PerspectiveAstronomy

The Link Between Supernovae and Gamma Ray Bursts

Science  27 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5726, pp. 1265-1266
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112928

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Summary

Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are believed to be the most energetic explosions in the universe since the Big Bang. In his Perspective, Schmidt discusses recent studies that provide evidence for a connection between supernovae and some GRBs. He highlights the report by Mazzali et al. , who show that supernova 2003jd appears to be highly asymmetric, similar to an object blown apart by the jets that produce GRBs. This supernovae may thus be a GRB, with its jets pointed away from Earth when it exploded. The results resolve some of the questions regarding the supernova-GRB connection, but it remains unclear how a single mechanism can produce supernovae and the much more powerful GRBs in the distant universe.

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