Vol 6, No S1

New Results on Cosmic Gamma-Ray Bursts

Kevin Hurley


Abstract Redshifts and/or long-wavelength counterparts have now been found for over 100 cosmic gamma-ray bursts, providing growing evidence that some bursts are associated with Type Ic supernovae. The BeppoSAX and HETE missions have also firmly established the fact that bursts are spectrally more diverse than previously suspected. Thus GRBs are slowly yielding many of their secrets. Two of the major remaining mysteries are first, what the nature of the short duration bursts is, and second, why some bursts have no detectable optical afterglows. The recently launched Swift GRB MIDEX mission is detecting bursts at a rate of about 100/year, and progress on these lingering issues is finally being made. Gamma-ray bursts are emerging as a powerful tool in many astrophysical disciplines.



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