Astronomy Today

Gamma-Ray Space Telescopes

What is the INTEGRAL satellite?

The International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) mission is a gamma-ray space telescope operated by the European Space Agency. It was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Russian Proton launcher on October 17, 2002. As a successor to COS-B and CGRO, it has several scientific instruments that make it capable of taking both images and spectra in gamma rays. It also has detectors that can take observations in X-rays and visible light at the same time it is taking gamma-ray data. This is very useful when studying energetic, gamma-ray-producing events like stellar explosions or quasar outbursts. Among INTEGRAL’s scientific achievements is the creation of a complete map of the sky in low-energy gamma-ray radiation.


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