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Gamma-ray burst of December 3 was a new type of cosmic explosion

08/07/2004 12:00AM

Gamma-ray burst of December 3 was a new type of cosmic explosion

PASADENA, Calif.--Astronomers have identified a new class of cosmic explosions that are more powerful than supernovae but considerably weaker than most gamma-ray bursts. The discovery strongly suggests a continuum between the two previously-known classes of explosions...


Comments:

  • bobguz [Robert Guzauskas]
  • 08/07/2004 06:16PM
I'm probably older than most of your readers, Paul. But way back in my youth I was told that you don't use explanations of observed phenomena as though they're facts - unless those phenomena have been repeatedly tested by experiment to verify your explanation.<br><br>Words implying explanation - implying laws of nature - like fusion, stellar collapse, neutron star and others are bandied about quite freely today. Words that specify hypothesis leap frog theory to become reality.<br><br>It's no wonder our youth have abandonded this science fiction in favor of business school.<br><br>Bob<br>
  • filmdos [Paul Walsh]
  • 08/08/2004 12:20AM
Actually, I think it's more about the money and the babes but, in my dotage, I've come to learn that "our youth" are fully capable of explaining themselves. Maybe one of their number will weigh in on this topic and enlighten us curmudgeonly old fogies about their motives and motions :-) Not that I don't hear your complaint about Publish Now/Support Later science. Although, to be fair, "leapfrogging" ideas between the empirical and the theoretical is how a lot of interesting and compelling astrophysics has evolved in recent decades. Thrilling but risky. Kind of like life.<br><br>Bear in mind, too, that this was a press release and not an actual paper. Press releases, by their very nature, are condensed and popularized for easy digestion by an impatient and disinterested public whose inattention span has shrunk to mere nanoseconds.<br><br>But that could just be my curmudgeon talking.<br> <br>-Paul "I don't write em, I just post em" Walsh<br><br><br>"It's no wonder our youth have abandonded this science fiction in favor of business school."<br><br>Bob<br>