Skip navigation
A. A New Telescope's Astronomical Finding

Narrator: This is Science Today. For the first time, a new robotic telescope system has captured images of a gamma-ray burst in action. James Wren, a researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, who is part of this collaborative effort, says these images give astronomers more insight into what's long been a mysterious phenomenon.

Wren: A gamma-ray burst is an unknown, very energetic explosion in the far reaches of space and before this experiment, people thought that seeing a gamma ray burst with an instrument of this size was impossible.

Narrator: The telescope, called ROTSE-1, features ordinary telescopic lenses and highly sensitive electronic cameras. Once tipped off by a satellite that detects gamma-ray bursts, that telescope robotically swings to that area and begins snapping away.

Wren: Over the course of a night, we can photograph about 70% of the night sky, down to magnitude fifteen. We actually do that four times a night and that data is just a gold mine for finding all kinds of astronomical phenomena and things maybe that people haven't thought of yet.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.