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Session 10 - Gamma-ray Bursts and Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters.
Display session, Monday, January 15
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[10.05] A Diamond Jubilee Astronomical Debate: Galaxies and Gamma-Ray Bursts

J. T. Bonnell (NASA/GSFC/USRA), R. J. Nemiroff (NASA/GSFC/GMU), C. J. Graziani (NASA/GSFC/NRC)

In April 1995, 75 years after the Curtis -- Shapley debate of 1920 on ``The Scale of the Universe", Donald Q. Lamb (Chicago) and Bohdan Paczynski (Princeton) debated ``The Distance Scale to Gamma-Ray Bursts". Both debates took place in the Baird auditorium of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC. At the 1995 `Diamond Jubilee Debate' Donald Lamb argued that the gamma-ray burst sources were in the galactic halo while Bodhan Pacynski argued that they were at cosmological distances. We discuss both debates and present related images and issues surround the the events. Approximately 350 people attended the 1995 debate and according to accounts the event was enjoyable, educational, inspiring, and even fun. Unfortunately, the distance scale to gamma-ray bursts is still unknown! Information about the 1995 debate as well as the 1920 debate is available through the World Wide Web at the following URL.

Program listing for Monday