Highlights from INTEGRAL
7 October 2005The International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory INTEGRAL was launched on 17 October 2002 at 04:41 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan) and is nearing its milestone of 3 years of science operations.
In two dedicated papers, one published in the 163rd COSPAR information bulletin "Space Research Today" and the second in the upcoming conference proceedings of the workshop Astronomy with Radioactivities V, held in Clemson SC, USA, 5-9 September 2005, Christoph Winkler presents a personal selection of scientific highlights achieved during the first two and a half years of INTEGRAL science operations.
Christoph Winkler has been Project Scientist for ESA's gamma-ray observatory INTEGRAL since 1993. His research interests include the galactic centre and galactic structure, γ-ray line emission from point and diffuse sources and γ-ray bursts.
The science highlights presented in the two papers cover several topics in both galactic and extragalactic astronomy:
- Galactic centre: discovery of new source with persistent hard X-ray emission coincident in position with the super-massive blackhole Sgr A*
- 511 keV all-sky survey of the electron-positron annihilation line
- Compact sources as the origin of the Galactic diffuse soft gamma-ray emission
- Discovery of new type of highly absorbed X-ray binary sources
- New insights into high energy part of the spectrum of magnetars
- Observations of line emission from the young supernova remnant Cas A to constrain the underlying physical model
- Detailed observations of accreting ms-pulsar IGR J00291+5934, considered to be the missing link between normal radio pulsars and isolated radio ms-pulsars
- Comparative observations of gamma-ray line emission from 26Al and 60Fe in the galactic centre and nearby star-forming Cygnus region
- Active galactic nuclei: gathering of more evidence for a doughnut shaped gas cloud to be responsible for obscuring the accretion disk from our view
- Gamma-ray Bursts (GRB): observation of faint GRB suggests the existence of a hither-to unnoticed population of sub-energetic GRB
The full papers by Christoph Winkler with his selection of highlighted science results - which is a limited subset of the full scope of results from the INTEGRAL mission - can be accessed through the top two related links.
For a complete overview of INTEGRAL science results see the related link to "INTEGRAL Publications".