Stellar collisions the cause of gamma bursts

Those short bursts of gamma rays that occur everyday somewhere in the universe and caused by collisions between black holes and neutrinos in star-forming galaxies, according to a new report from Penn State Caltech. The origin of the bursts--which may last only a few thousandths of a second but shine brighter than a billion suns during the short interval they are at peak power--have long been a mystery to scientists.

Gamma ray bursts detected on May 9 and July 9 provided the evidence for the conclusion. "I am amazed that we have been able to make such great strides in the space of a few months," said Caltech's Shri Kulkarni in a prepared statement. "Now it is time to start addressing what beast lies at the heart of these explosions."

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