skip to content
Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory Science Support Center

The Imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL)

The Imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL)

Click image for larger view

The Imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL) utilizes the Compton Effect and two layers of gamma-ray detectors to reconstruct an image of a gamma-ray source in the energy range 1 to 30 million electron volts (MeV). Gamma rays from active galaxies, radioactive supernova remnants, and diffuse gamma rays from giant molecular clouds can be studied with this instrument.

COMPTEL's upper layer of detectors are filled with a liquid scintillator which scatters an incoming gamma-ray photon according to the Compton Effect. This photon is then absorbed by NaI crystals in the lower detectors. The instrument records the time, location, and energy of the events in each layer of detectors which makes it possible to determine the direction and energy of the original gamma-ray photon and reconstruct an image and energy spectrum of the source.

If you have a question about CGRO, please contact us via the Feedback form.

This page was last modified on Monday, 01-Aug-2005 13:41:42 EDT.

NASA Astrophysics

  • Questions/Comments/Feedback
  • Find helper applications like Adobe Acrobat
  • Learn about black holes, astronomy & more!
  • A service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/ GSFC

    NASA Science Official: Neil Gehrels
    Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
    Web Curator: J.D. Myers
    Privacy Policy and Important Notices.