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What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts? by Joshua S. Bloom

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3

AFTERGLOWS

We can cheer ourselves up by recalling that it is more elevated to make predictions than to explain phenomena a posteriori.

—Sir Martin J. Rees,Royal Astronomical Society Presidential Address11 February 1994

 

 

Had Ray Klebesadel and his collaborators found convincing evidence for a connection of a GRB to a supernova, the search for late-time emission after a given GRB would have been sharpened and honed from the outset. Instead, the search for afterglows was generally fragmented, unfocused, and, for decades, unmotivated by specific theoretical predictions. In the context of Galactic models of GRBs, the possibility of delayed emission at X-ray wavebands was quickly hypothesized.1 But until BeppoSAX, there was no X-ray facility that ...

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