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BATSE can determine directions to gamma-ray bursts with an accuracy of a few degrees. This diagram shows the positions of 2408 bursts detected with BATSE over 8 years of operation. The map is an Aitoff equal-area projection in Galactic coordinates. The only anisotropy detectable in the distribution is due to a small anisotropy in BATSE's sky exposure. The isotropic source distribution, combined with information from the burst intensity distribution, showed conclusively that the burst sources do not reside in the Galactic disk, as previously thought. This discovery initiated a paradigm shift to the view that the sources lie at cosmological distances. Direct redshift measurements have now confirmed this interpretation, making gamma-ray bursts the most powerful explosions in the Universe.
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