Latest High Energy Transient Explorer Stories

2008-10-21 10:54:04

For decades it was baffling. Out of the still night sky, astronomers peering through their telescopes would occasionally glimpse quick bursts of high-energy light popping off like flashbulbs at the far side of the universe. These bursts seemed impossibly powerful: to appear so bright from so very far away, they must vastly outshine entire galaxies containing hundreds of billions of stars. These explosions, called gamma ray bursts (GRBs), are by far the brightest and most energetic phenomena...

2005-10-05 14:18:10

An international team of astronomers led by Danish astronomer Jens Hjorth [1] has for the first time observed the visible light from a short gamma-ray burst (GRB). Using the 1.5m Danish telescope at La Silla (Chile), they showed that these short, intense bursts of gamma-ray emission most likely originate from the violent collision of two merging neutron stars. The same team has also used ESO's Very Large Telescope to constrain the birthplace of the first ever short burst whose position could...

2005-10-05 14:16:16

An international team of scientists using three NASA satellites and a host of ground-based telescopes believes it has solved the greatest remaining mystery of the mysterious gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the most powerful explosions in the universe. The shorter of two versions of these bursts appear to be caused by the collision of closely orbiting neutron stars or one of those compact stars and a black hole, said Don Lamb, the Louis Block Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the...

2005-08-23 12:46:30

First simultaneous observation of a gamma-ray burst in the X-ray and in the very high energy gamma ray band For the first time a gamma-ray burst (GRB) has been observed simultaneously in the X-ray and in the very high energy gamma ray band. The MAGIC telescope at La Palma, Canary Islands, observed the enigmatic source GRB050713A, a long duration gamma-ray burst, only 40 seconds after the explosion, at photon energies above 175 GeV. The puzzling nature of gamma-ray bursts is still not fully...

2005-06-02 07:05:00

Observations of a cosmic explosion detected on Feb. 15 by two NASA satellites have thrown into doubt one popular explanation for such explosions and have also seriously weakened the argument for yet another, according to University of Chicago astrophysicist Don Lamb. But solving the mystery any time soon may be forestalled by plans to shut down one of the satellites in September. The explosion in question is a powerful burst of X-rays called an X-ray flash that was observed by NASA's Swift...

2004-11-28 10:54:00

When the SWIFT detector looks at the sky using its gamma-ray sensitive view, the chance to unravel the cause of the most energetic stellar events may become possible. Astrobiology Magazine -- Imagine an explosion that could emit a million times more energy than the combined output of all the stars in the Milky Way. If you could hear this burst, it would deafen you. If you could see one, it would blind you. Any life within a radius of many solar systems would be annihilated. But just such an...

Word of the Day
  • Licking.
  • Hence Running along or over a surface, as if in the act of licking; flowing over or along; lapping or bathing; softly bright; gleaming.
This word comes the Latin 'lambere,' to lick.