Astervitude writes "Collisions of the cosmic kind could be the source of one of nature's most lethal explosions. Astronomers have traced the origin of short-duration gamma-ray bursts, or GRBs, to the merger of neutron stars or other dense bodies. Space.com has a report on the scientific detective work that led to the solution of what has been described as a 35-year-old mystery. "Our observations do not prove the coalescence model, but we surely have found a lady with a smoking gun next to a dead body," said Shri Kulkarni, one of over two dozen astronomers who discovered and investigated two short-duration bursts that took place last May and July. Unlike short-duration GRBs, long-duration GRBs are believed to be produced when extremely massive stars collapse and explode as supernovas."