Gamma Ray Bursts – 22nd November 2001

Dr Nial Tanvir of the University of Hertfordshire gave a talk about Gamma Ray Bursts in which he described the evidence that lead to the theories as to their origins gradually concluding that they were far distant and very energetic events. Their energy output is to supernovae as that of supernovae is to ordinary stars. They are also extremely rapid (in astronomical terms) in their brightening and fading, which means it is difficult to record them using all available spectral bands. Much has been learned from those few which have been observed in detail though. Amateurs who are able to respond rapidly to alerts could well help in making ground-breaking observations.

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