A Tribute to the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory!
Welcome to the Special Exhibit on the magnificent science
results from the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO). Through it's
almost 10 years of performing gamma-ray observations of celestial
objects, the Compton Observatory introduced us to a little-known world
of gamma-ray bursts, exotic pulsars, and blazing active galaxies.
Indeed, the Compton Observatory defined gamma-ray astronomy,
illuminating for us the most energetic, violent events that the
Universe can dish out. The Observatory's four main instruments
(BATSE, OSSE, COMPTEL and EGRET) captured an unprecedented chunk of
the electromagnetic pie, covering a broader range of energy than any
other observatory -- six orders of magnitude, a million times wider
than the optical range. Compton's greatest hits are equally as broad.
This exhibit highlights some of the exciting discoveries made by CGRO.
Proof is in the Numbers...
Compton's proof is in the numbers. The Observatory recorded
approximately 400 gamma-ray sources; before Compton, only about 40
were known. BATSE detected over 2600 fleeting gamma-ray bursts;
before Compton, only about 300 had been detected. There are roughly
180 Compton-specific professional science journal articles per year,
about one every other day. Below, we discuss some of the highlights.
You can find an advanced level discussion of these (and more!) results from
CGRO in the CGROWeb Site (http://cossc.gsfc.nasa.gov/).
CGRO Web Site (http://cossc.gsfc.nasa.gov/)