Gamma-ray Bursts are flashes of gamma rays associated with extremely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies. They are the brightest electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe. Bursts can last from ten milliseconds to several minutes. The initial burst is usually followed by a longer-lived "afterglow" emitted at longer wavelengths (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, microwave and radio).
What if you could "see" gamma rays? This computer processed image represents a map of the entire sky at photon energies above 100 million electron Volts. These gamma-ray photons are more than 40 million times more energetic than visible light photons and are blocked from the Earth's surface by the atmosphere. In the early 1990s NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, in orbit around the Earth, scanned the entire sky to produce this picture.