Gamma-ray bursts are one of the most powerful explosions in the universe and can be detected across the universe. Because light travels at a finite speed, it takes light billions of years to travel from a far-away gamma-ray burst to the Earth. Astronomers are thus using gamma-ray bursts to observe what happened billions of years ago in the distant universe. However, the complex pulse structures from gamma-ray bursts make it challenging to figure out the physical origins of these events, and thus make it difficult to correctly trace out the history of the universe with gamma-ray bursts. The Burst Chaser project invites citizen scientists to produce the first large-scale classification of the pulse structure of gamma-ray bursts, and shed light on whether these mysterious events are related to supernova or merging of objects like neutron stars and black holes.
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