Safe from a Heavenly Doom: Gamma-ray bursts not a threat to Earth

8:17am, May 17, 2006

For pessimists, the heavens offer a host of doomsday scenarios—an asteroid crashing into Earth or deadly cosmic rays raining down on the planet. But at least earthlings don't have to worry about gamma-ray bursts, according to new findings. Although these high-energy flashes of light—the most energetic outbursts in the universe—could decimate life in an instant, they're unlikely to occur in the Milky Way, two studies conclude.

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