Gamma Ray Bursters
High intensity sources of gamma radiation. The two different types of gamma ray bursters can be distinguished by the length and brightness of the burst.
Type 1, the collapse of supermassive stars, seems to be the type described by the Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, as being a distant and ancient object sending out thin rays of incredible brightness.
Type 2, the collision between two orbiting neutron stars, has been suggested as a cause of large scale depopulation or extinction events. However the most advanced civilisations should find ways of surviving even such a large event. (See, for instance, the Batholithic Civilisation)
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 31 December 2007.