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May14-05, 09:03 AM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 4,014
Just to amplify one phrase in ST's post: "there may be multiple physical processes that can produce them"

While the accumulating observational data is beginning to provide good tests of models for (some of) the long duration bursts, until this Swift GRB, there was essentially nothing to contrain models of short durations bursts (other than their isotropy and the gamma light curve and spectrum).

And one shouldn't be too sanguine about the view that long bursts originate via essentially one mechanism either - why so many remain 'dark' (no detected optical afterglow) and how to account for the variation among GRBs with well observed X-ray, optical, IR, ... afterglows may be telling us more than one mechanism can produce long bursts!