gamma-ray burst

noun

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, astronomers at Northwestern University recently discovered a kilonova along with a long gamma-ray burst—an interesting combination suggesting that mergers can spawn gamma-ray bursts with longer light curves, too. Sanjana Curtis, Scientific American, 12 Dec. 2022 Astronomers generally think that one type of gamma-ray burst, called long-duration gamma-ray bursts, come from very massive, fast-spinning stars. Erika K. Carlson, Discover Magazine, 14 Jan. 2020 In just a few seconds, a gamma-ray burst blasts out the same amount of energy that the Sun will radiate throughout its entire life. Eleonora Troja, The Conversation, 21 Dec. 2022 The constellations even include a Saturn V rocket to represent Huntsville, Alabama where the gamma-ray burst monitor team is centered. Chelsea Gohd, Discover Magazine, 19 Oct. 2018 The gamma-ray burst, called GRB 211211A, lasted about a minute. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 8 Dec. 2022 At the time, scientists said the uniquely bright and energetic gamma-ray burst can will help them to learn more about elements formed and ejected during a massive star collapse. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 23 Dec. 2022 The particular wavelengths of light coming from this explosion allowed our team to identify the source of the unusual gamma-ray burst as two neutron stars colliding and merging together. Eleonora Troja, The Conversation, 21 Dec. 2022 The rumors hinted that in addition to the gravitational-wave signal, astronomers had observed a short gamma-ray burst and something that looked a lot like a kilonova. Sanjana Curtis, Scientific American, 12 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gamma-ray burst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 5 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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