Astronomers and Telescopes

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) take place about once per day. They are difficult to study as they are short lived and occur at seemingly random locations and times. To achieve an understanding of what exactly GRBs are and why they occur, astronomers need to act quickly to pin down their exact location and observe them while they are exploding.

Gamma rays do not penetrate our atmosphere, so they must first be detected by an orbiting satellite such as NASA's Swift satellite shown above. Click on the Swift button below to learn about how astronomers respond to Swift's detections.

       

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