Viewing the Violent Universe is a mini-exhibition on the scientific
goals and achievements of NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory spacecraft.
Located in the National Air and Space Museum's Milestones of Flight gallery,
the exhibit was open from February 1996 through October 1996. The exhibit
was designed by Lab and Museum staff, and by scientists from the Compton
Observatory Space Science Center (http://cossc.gsfc.nasa.gov/) at
NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center.
Gamma rays are a non-visible form of light that is created by the universe's
hottest and most cataclysmic events. The Compton Observatory serves as
our eyes for viewing the gamma-ray universe. The observatory allows study
of such enigmatic phenomena as supernovae-- the explosion of the
most massive stars; pulsars and black holes -- bizarre stellar
corpses resulting from supernova explosions; quasars -- central
regions of galaxies seen at the outer reaches of the universe; and gamma-ray
bursts -- mysterious sources of intense energy that may herald unidentified
violent events at the far reaches of the universe.