View Full Version : A Powerful Blast From the Distant Past

2008-Jan-08, 09:20 PM
As sure as the Sun rises, you can expect that astronomers are going to beat their records. Today, we can wave goodbye to the record for the most distant short-duration gamma ray burst. Astronomers working with NASA have announced a newly discovered explosion that occurred 7.4 billion light years away. That's nearly double the distance [...]

More... (http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/universetoday/pYdq/~3/213408399/)

2008-Jan-09, 02:34 PM
I assume that GRBs are highly directional and are emitted near the poles of the axis of rotation. If true, the angle between the axis of rotation and the emitted blast, the rate of rotation of the emitter, and the line of sight to the observer would vary the duration of time over which the blast would be observed. As seen by the observer such variation could be detected as various durations over those allowed from the very short to the maximum allowed. How do the observers distinguish between opportunistic line of sight effects and actual short term GRBs? Is the shape of the observed bandwidth sufficiently deterministic?