Short Gamma-Ray Bursts

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Science  02 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5654, pp. 46-47
DOI: 10.1126/science.1091767

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Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous events in our universe. In his Perspective, Rosswog discusses how short GRBs, one of two types of GRBs, may arise. Possible scenarios include the merger of two neutron stars or of a neutron star and a low-mass black hole. Proving such a binary origin will require data that go beyond the gamma-ray characteristics of short GRBs, covering, for example, other photon wavelengths. In a related Perspective, MacFadyen discusses long-duration GRBs, which are believed to be associated with the death of massive stars.