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'Integral' - A Challenging Scientific Mission

'Integral' - A Challenging Scientific Mission

Publication date: 02 July 1994

Authors: Clausen, K. & Winkler, C.

Journal: ESA Bulletin
Volume: 79
Year: 1994

Copyright: ESA

The spectroscopic study of atomic and molecular lines in the infrared, optical and ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum has provided us with knowledge and understanding of the physics of normal stars. Spectrallines in the gamma-ray region are produced by new and different processes. These include radioactivity, nuclear excitation, electron- positron annihilation and radiation in the vicinity of magnetic fields. Gamma-ray lines are indicators of all these processes and have now been observed at astrophysical sites.They provide powerful diagnostics for the high-energy processes occurring in some of the most violent and exotic objects in the Universe. The key features of the Integral satellite will allow us to study in great detail these, and other sites of key interest in today's astrophysical research, with high sensitivity combined with very good energy resolution and very good imaging capabilities (in order to avoid source confusion) using two main instruments, an 'Imager' and a 'Spectrometer'.

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