PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
ROTSE gamma ray burst telescope. Researcher standing next to the ROTSE (Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment) telescope at the HESS array on the Gamsberg plateau in Namibia. The structure in the background at right is part of the HESS array. ROTSE telescopes are automated to allow them to quickly record optical images of brief but extremely powerful astronomical explosions called gamma ray bursts (GRBs). There are four ROTSE telescopes around the world. The other three are in Australia, the USA and Turkey. A ROTSE telecsope first imaged a GRB in 1999, and since then a third generation of telescopes, ROTSE-III, has begun operating. Photographed in January 2006.
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