skip to content
Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory Science Support Center

Gamma Rays and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Click image for larger view

Gamma rays are the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation, with more than 10,000 times more energy than visible light photons. The entire electromagnetic spectrum is pictured here, from the lowest energies (radio) to the highest (gamma rays).

All but the highest energy gamma rays are stopped by Earth's atmosphere so gamma-ray telescopes must be flown at high altitudes such as those attained by research balloons or orbiting spacecraft. Because each band of electromagnetic radiation can provide key information about physical processes in the Universe, astronomers increasingly rely on observations across the electromagnetic spectrum. For high-energy processes, gamma rays are important.

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

    Responsible NASA Official: Dr. Andy Ptak
    Web Curator: J.D. Myers
    Privacy Policy and Important Notices.