AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 59. High-Energy Observations
Oral, Thursday, June 8, 2000, 2:00-3:30pm, Lilac Ballroom

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[59.03] X-ray Flashes: Current Status and Future Prospects.

W.C. Priedhorsky, K.N. Borozdin (Los Alamos National Laboratory), V.A. Arefiev (Space Research Institute, RAS)

Essentially all missions sensitive to cosmic X-rays have detected intense flashes of X-ray emissions, with typical timescales from seconds to hours. However, 25 years of observation has yielded only about 100 flashes, plus another ~200 X-ray counterparts of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The existing sample is consistent with an isotropic distribution and heterogeneous propulation of progenitors. Because the sample is so restricted, our understanding of X-ray flashes is reminiscent of gamma-ray bursts before BATSE. However, a dedicated experiment and modern, real-time follow-up could revolutionize our understanding

We discuss our current understanding of the X-ray flash phenomenon, their relation to GRBs, and the necessary next steps to understand them.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: wpriedhorsky@lanl.gov

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