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Session 36 - Gamma Ray Bursts: Observations & Theory.
Invited session, Wednesday, January 07
International Ballroom Center,

[36.01] Gamma-Ray Bursts: Observations

C. Kouveliotou (USRA, NASA/MSFC)

Gamma-ray bursts were serendipitously discovered 30 years ago with the Vela satellite series by Los Alamos scientists. Since then, GRB detectors on US and international spacecraft have amassed a wealth of information on this enigmatic phenomenon. Currently, BATSE (Burst And Transient Source Experiment) is the most sensitive GRB experiment; it was launched on April 1991, onboard NASA's Compton Gamma-Ray Obsevatory (CGRO). In April 1996, an Italian-Dutch satellite, BeppoSAX, equiped with Wide Field X-ray Cameras, imaged for the first time the prompt X-rays from a GRB and thus opened a new era in GRB research. The fast WFC locations, enabled optical, X-ray and radio telescopes to quickly follow up the emission region and detect the first GRB counterparts. I will review the main observational results of the last 7 years obtained with BATSE on the temporal, spectral and spatial characteristics of GRBs, together with the recent optical, X-ray and radio follow-up results that have made crucial steps towards the solution of the GRB mystery.

Program listing for Wednesday