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The Gamma-Ray sky According to Compton

A New Window to the Universe
  • D. A. Kniffen
  • E. Chipman
  • N. Gehrels
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 187)

Abstract

The Arthur Holly Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Compton) is the second in NASA’s series of Great Observatories. Launched on 5 April 1991, Compton represents a dramatic increase in capability over previous gamma-ray missions. The spacecraft and scientific instruments are all in good health, and many significant discoveries have already been made. Fundamental changes in our understanding of many types of gamma-ray sources have resulted from Compton observations. We describe the capabilities of the four scientific instruments, and present examples of early discoveries by Compton, including: the discovery that gamma-ray bursts are isotropic but spatially inhomogeneous in their distribution; the discovery of a new class of high-energy extragalactic gamma-ray sources, the gamma-ray AGNs; the discovery of emission from SN1987A in the nuclear line of 57Co; and the mapping of emission from 26A1 in the ISM near the Galactic Center. A vigorous Guest Investigator program is in progress with 30% of the observation time allocated to GI’s in Phase 2 (Nov. 1992 — Aug. 1993) and 60% in Phase 3 (Aug. 1993 – Aug. 1994).

Key words

Gamma-Ray Astronomy Gamma-Ray Instrumentation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Kniffen
    • 1
  • E. Chipman
    • 2
  • N. Gehrels
    • 2
  1. 1.Hampden-Sydney CollegeVirginiaUSA
  2. 2.NASA/Goddard Spaceflight CenterLaboratory for High Energy AstrophysicsGreenbeltUSA

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