gamma ray burster
- Type of celestial object which emits bursts of gamma rays lasting from a few seconds to several tens of minutes. Little is known about the nature of gamma ray bursters, although it is clear that they give out thousands of times as much energy as the Sun when the burst is occurring. They seem to be associated with neutron stars and pulsars, and may have to do with material being sucked into the objects or with pulsar material rearranging itself energetically. Detectors on the Compton and Ulysses spacecraft have provided most of our information on bursters.