Imagine the Universe!

Satellite Showcase

A Tribute to the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory!

Deployment of CGRO by STS 37

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 (

Additional Links

starCGRO Web Site (

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

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