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START YOUR ENGINES!

Using any of the search engines available to you, look for Web sites containing the answers to the following questions. (Notice there are some suggested Web sites to help get you started.) Answer the questions in complete sentences. Record the name of the Web page that you used as a reference when answering each question.

http://www.batse.msfc.nasa.gov

http://130.167.1.50/pubinfo/pr/1997/20/PR.html

http://www-glast.sonoma.edu

http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/ast29jan99_1.htm

http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/ast26mar99_1.htm

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov

  1. What is a gamma-ray?
  2. What is a gamma-ray burst?
  3. What are two current theories surrounding the formation of a gamma-ray burst?
  4. Find an example of a comparison between the energy released by a gamma-ray burst and the Sun.
  5. On average, how many gamma-ray bursts are detected each week?
  6. Who was the first to detect a gamma-ray burst?
  7. What year was the first gamma-ray burst detected?
  8. How was the first gamma-ray burst detected?
  9. For how many years after its detection was the report of the first gamma-ray burst withheld?
  10. Why are scientists having such a difficult time studying gamma-ray bursts?
  11. Almost all gamma-ray bursts come from outside of our Galaxy. How often does a burst occur in our galaxy, the Milky Way?
  12. Name at least two satellites that are currently involved in gamma-ray burst research.
  13. On January 23, 1999, scientists were able to collect the first optical data on a gamma-ray burst while it was in progress. What technological resources were used to make this event possible?
  14. Why is the name Swift appropriate for the satellite that is going to be launched in approximately 2003 in order to further study gamma-ray bursts?
  15. What do the letters in the name GLAST stand for and when is the launch of this satellite scheduled to occur?
  16. Locate a Web site not previously sited in this exercise. Record the URL. Create an original question from the information you find at this Web site. Your question may be incorporated into future gamma-ray Web searches.

TEACHERS: Prior to starting this activity, visit all cited Web sites. Some Web sites tend to be transient while others may not be available to you on your particular server. This information needs to be discovered prior to beginning this activity.

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Imagine the Universe! is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
Curator: Meredith Gibb
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
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This page last updated: Friday, 12-Jan-2007 09:43:03 EST