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Session 36 - Rossi Prize Lecture.
Invited session, Monday, January 15
1st Floor, La Villita Assembly Building

[36.01] The Universe as Revealed by theTelescopes on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory

C. E. Fichtel (NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center)

The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, launched in April, 1991, carried into space four instruments to study the gamma-ray sky in the energy range from below 0.1 MeV to well over 10 GeV. The instruments had approximately ten times or more sensitivity than those flown earlier in space, and, as anticipated, important new results have come forth on a broad range of astrophysical topics. Some of the highlights include: the finding of a new class of objects--high energy gamma-ray emitting blazars, a very clear separation of the gamma-ray properties of blazars and seyferts, the deepening mystery of gamma-ray bursts, the observation of an increased fraction of the pulsar electromagnetic radiation being emitted as gamma rays as the age of the pulsar increases up to a million years, the determination with high certainty that cosmic rays are galactic, the detailed mapping of the galactic diffuse radiation including the aluminum line and the measurement of the pion bump in the high-energy gamma-ray spectrum, gamma-ray lines from SN1987A and Cas A, the absence of microsecond bursts and its implication for certain unification theories, the long acceleration or trapping time of over ten hours for energetic solar particles following a flare, and the measurement of the spectrum of the diffuse, presumably extragalactic, gamma radiation with the apparent absence of any bump in the MeV region and a flat spectrum in the high energy region consistent with a blazar origin.

Program listing for Monday