Astronomy Fundamentals

Time, Waves, and Particles

What are gamma rays?

Gamma rays are electromagnetic waves whose wavelengths are shorter than about 10–11 (one hundred-billionth) of a meter. These rays are very energetic and penetrative, so they can cause substantial radiation injuries to humans. Gamma rays are usually produced by the most powerful processes in the universe, such as exploding stars and supermassive black hole systems.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Astronomy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App