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The Question

(Submitted May 09, 2006)

Is it possible that there are many more gamma-ray bursts than the approximate 360 a year seen, because they are beamed towards us?

The Answer

Yes, the gamma-ray bursts are almost certainly beamed, and so there are likely thousands that we don't see, for every burst that we do detect. The exact ratio depends on how strongly beamed they are.

Hope this helps,

Koji & Kevin
for "Ask an Astrophysicist"

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