COMPTEL 3-7 MeV Image of the Orion Region
The COMPTEL telescope aboard the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory has
detected 3-7 MeV gamma-ray emission from the Orion complex, the
nearest birthplace of massive stars in our Galaxy. The observed
emission can be attributed to gamma-ray lines at 4.4 and 6.1 MeV in
energy, originating from the decay of energetic cosmic-ray nuclei of
carbon and oxygen, respectively, bombarding interstellar gas clouds.
In the map, yellow contours indicate the region of strong gamma-ray
emission, while blue contours outline the most prominent interstellar
gas clouds in the Orion complex. The bright excess just visible in
the upper right originates from the Crab pulsar.
For further information, see
"COMPTEL observations of the Orion complex:
evidence for cosmic-ray induced gamma-ray
lines" (Bloemen et al., 1994, AA, 281, L5).
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