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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