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Flash! The hunt for the Biggest Explosions in the Universe

Author / Publisher : Govert Schilling
File Letter : gold star - colour code
Comments : published 2002


Flash! The hunt for the biggest explosions in the universe – written by Govert Schilling and the English version published in 2002.
Although this book is a number of years old, it is historically significant as it describes how the first gamma-ray burst was discovered, an amazing story in itself.

The Blurb – ‘The origin and nature of gamma-ray bursts is currently one of the greatest mysteries in astrophysics. These tremendously powerful blasts produce more energy in a fraction of a second than our Sun does in ten billion years. Since their accidental discovery by American spy satellites over thirty years ago, astronomers have striven to understand these enigmatic explosions. It is only recently, thanks to an Italian-Dutch satellite, and powerful telescopes both on the ground and in space, that the mystery is beginning to be unraveled. Astronomers now realize that gamma-ray bursts are probably related to the birth of black holes in extremely distant galaxies. Flash! describes the fast moving field of gamma ray burst research, from the initial detection right up to the most recent discoveries. Based on interviews with leading scientists, this exciting book provides an inside view of the scientific challenges involved in unraveling the mystery of gamma-ray bursts.’
(from the preface) ‘Flash! tells how this new and fascinating domain of astronomy came to be and at the same time offers a behind the scenes glimpse of modern astronomical research.’

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