back to article Scientists shed light on oddball gamma rays from deep space

Once the data looked straightforward, at least in terms of bursts of gamma rays from outer space. The high-energy electromagnetic radiation was classified into two types: short bursts of less than a second, thought to come from two merging neutron stars in a binary system; and long bursts of a few seconds or more from the …

  1. lglethal Silver badge
    Pint

    Science is awesome. Nuff said...

    1. Sceptic Tank Silver badge
      Meh

      Nuff not said

      ... but then there's me, wondering what purpose astrophysics can possibly have other than to ensure employment at a university. Quasars, magnetars, event horizons, yadda, yadda: all interesting stuff to be sure, but what practical use does any of that serve? At least studies in biology, chemistry, electricity, etc. provide results that have drastically improved our lives. But knowing that Betelgeuse is about to go supernova and rain deadly radioactive iron down on us is academical. Astrophysics should be a hobby, not a career.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Nuff not said

        "James, stop messing about with that kettle and do something useful!" – Mrs Watt.

      2. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: Nuff not said

        >> Astrophysics should be a hobby, not a career.

        I agree. Noone should be forced to work.

      3. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Nuff not said

        Is FTL travel possible? I have no idea. However, if it is, astrophysics is almost certain to provide important data in figuring it out.

        Is colonizing the galaxy a realistic possibility? Probably, but astrophysics is going to give us a LOT of data about how to go about doing it successfully.

        These are just a couple of obvious ones. The real benefits of basic research are almost never envisioned by the people doing the research.

        1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

          Re: Nuff not said

          Hopefully it's not a whole lot faster than light at first. You wouldn't want to place a wormhole based on Earth-bound observations that are thousands to billions of years old. At some timescale, predicting where things are in the universe when you arrive is going to be like predicting were clouds will be tomorrow.

      4. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Nuff not said

        Astrophysics is a major way to study, and hence theorise and learn about, high energy physics. You know, the sort of stuff that will inform how we build fusion power (to take a timely example).

  2. Arthur the cat Silver badge
    Alien

    Gran Sasso Science Institute in L'Aquila, Italy

    So the GRB happened beyond the Aquila Rift?

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