Agriculture
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Amphibians
Salamanders
Salamanders and Newts
Toads
Animals
Sea Giants and Island Pygmies
Elephant Mimics
Cool Penguins
Behavior
Supersonic Splash
Memory by Hypnosis
A Light Delay
Birds
Peafowl
Finches
Lovebirds
Chemistry and Materials
Sticky Silky Feet
Putting the Squeeze on Toothpaste
Cooking Up Superhard Diamonds
Computers
Galaxies on the go
Troubles with Hubble
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
An Ancient Feathered Biplane
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
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Earth
Earth's Poles in Peril
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Environment
Eating Up Foul Sewage Smells
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Ready, unplug, drive
Finding the Past
An Ancient Childhood
A Big Discovery about Little People
If Only Bones Could Speak
Fish
Pygmy Sharks
Skates and Rays
Halibut
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
A Taste for Cheese
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
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GSAT Scholarship
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GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Math is a real brain bender
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Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Spit Power
Cell Phone Tattlers
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Invertebrates
Krill
Shrimps
Starfish
Mammals
Aquatic Animals
Golden Retrievers
African Warthogs
Parents
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Invisibility Ring
Plants
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
A Change in Leaf Color
Reptiles
Chameleons
Alligators
Rattlesnakes
Space and Astronomy
Planets on the Edge
An Icy Blob of Fluff
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Technology and Engineering
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Algae Motors
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
The solar system's biggest junkyard
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
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Burst Busters

Explosions on Earth are a pretty big deal. In outer space, though, things are blowing up all the time. Two new studies show that a particularly powerful type of explosion is 10 times as common, but not always as powerful, as astronomers had thought. The explosions are called gamma-ray bursts. One seems to appear whenever a dying star collapses and becomes a spinning black hole or neutron star. Particles burst out of a doughnut-shaped disk that surrounds the collapsed star, producing gamma rays. A leading theory proposes that all gamma-ray bursts have the same amount of energy. In that case, the energy we detect here on Earth mostly depends on how far away the explosion is and how much of the blast is aimed in our direction. New data cast doubt on that assumption. On Dec. 3, 2003, a European satellite called INTEGRAL recorded an unusual gamma-ray burst officially labeled GRB 031203. Two teams, one from Russia and one from California, looked closely at the data. They found that the burst happened in a galaxy that is relatively close to us, just 1.3 billion light-years away. Oddly, though, it had only about one-thousandth as much energy as do bursts that come from much farther away. Analysis of the afterglow confirmed that the burst was a low-energy event. Astronomers might be missing many gamma-ray bursts because they've been looking only for high-energy explosions, the researchers say. In October, the scheduled launch of a satellite called Swift might help resolve the issue. Swift is designed to register fainter bursts than telescopes on Earth normally detect.—E. Sohn

Burst Busters
Burst Busters








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