gamma-ray burst

noun

gam·​ma-ray burst ˈga-mə-ˈrā- How to pronounce gamma-ray burst (audio)
variants or less commonly gamma ray burst
: a brief, powerful jet of gamma rays detected deep in space that is generated by the collapse and explosion of a celestial object
Eventually, though, the neutron star slows down, probably because of magnetic braking. Then it implodes, touching off a gamma ray burst.Govert Schilling
abbreviation GRB

Examples of gamma-ray burst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To produce such a catastrophic energy projectile, an equally powerful explosion is in order, which is where gamma-ray bursts come from. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 18 Mar. 2024 Its source was an unusually close brush with a gamma-ray burst, a 1-in-10,000-year event, according to a 2023 study published in Astrophysical Research Letters. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 18 Mar. 2024 Those gamma-ray bursts lasting less than two seconds (about 30 percent) are deemed short bursts, usually emitting from regions with very little star formation. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 22 June 2023 Another option is that the long gamma-ray bursts don’t come from feasting newborn black holes at all. Quanta Magazine, 13 Dec. 2023 Enlarge / Artist's conception of a gamma-ray burst. Dhananjay Khadilkar, Ars Technica, 17 Nov. 2023 However, a recent gamma-ray burst that's been called the BOAT (brightest of all time) may be providing us with new information on the events within a few days of a supernova's explosion. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 8 June 2023 Again, the rate at which this would occur is sufficiently low that very few planets would ever be sterilized by a gamma-ray burst. Discover Magazine, 17 July 2017 These gamma-ray bursts are the brightest explosions known — a typical gamma-ray burst can produce as much energy in the seconds or minutes of its explosion than the sun produces in its entire lifetime. Erika K. Carlson, Discover Magazine, 14 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gamma-ray burst.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1973, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gamma-ray burst was in 1973

Dictionary Entries Near gamma-ray burst

Cite this Entry

“Gamma-ray burst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamma-ray%20burst. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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