Gamma ray bursts

Inspired by this thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=594264

What are the chances that gamma ray bursts that we are seeing fairly regularly are when the central supermassive black hole in a galaxy that has its axis pointed towards us is eating a star or black hole. Would that explain why there are so many of them?:dubious:

Those are quasars, and they tend to be much steadier. While they’re eating, they’re generally eating from an accretion disk that’s continually falling in. There’s some variation (accretion disks can be lumpy), but they’re simply too large to get variation on the scale of seconds, like we see with GRBs.

It’s currently believed that there are two different kinds of gamma ray bursts, produced by different sources. The first are the long-duration GRBs: It’s believed that these are due to exceptionally powerful supernovae, which beam their output to seem even more powerful to something that happens to be on axis to them. The second are the short-duration GRBs, which are believed to be due to a collision of two neutron stars to form a black hole (the end of the burst is due to almost all of the material being swallowed by the hole as it forms).

Interesting, and thanks.