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Limning full sky in a gamma-ray glow.

Astronomers last week unveiled the first full-sky map of the heavens aglow in the light of gamma rays, the cosmos' most energetic radiation. Generated by data from the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory's (GRO) EGRET telescope, the map depicts emissions with an energy greater than 100 million electron-volts. White denotes highest intensity, blue the lowest. The horizontal swath shows gamma-ray sources, including several known pulsars, in our galaxy's plane. Above and below the plane, the map reveals more distant sources, mostly quasars and quasar-like objects called blazars. Carl E. Fichtel of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., presented the map at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Washington, D. C

Researchers also reported that GRO had detected a champ among gamma-ray bursts: a flash with the highest energy and intensity ever observed. Dubbed the Super Bowl burst because of its discovery on Super Bowl Sunday (Jan. 31.), this one-second cosmic flashbulb overwhelmed GRO detectors designed to record its intensity Up to 100 seconds after the burst, EGRET detected a photon afterglow that at times reached energies of a billion electron-volts. Astronomers searched for evidence of a counterpart to the burst at other wavelengths, but the flash's origin, like others, remains a mystery
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Title Annotation:full-sky gamma ray map unveiled
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 24, 1993
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