View Full Version : Integral Spots a Burst Out of the Corner of its Eye

2006-Jun-16, 04:38 PM
Even it it's not actually watching the spot in the sky where a gamma ray burst goes off, ESA's Integral observatory can detect it. Engineers have developed a technique that allows the spacecraft see blasts out of the corner of its eye. Integral's detector can sense radiation that passes through the side of its detector array. Scientists can then analyze this radiation to gather information on the gamma ray burst. The technique was first used to detect solar flares, and then fine tuned to work for gamma ray bursts.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/06/16/integral-spots-a-burst-out-of-the-corner-of-its-eye/)

2006-Jun-19, 06:52 PM
So, let's see if this makes sense. The gamma rays waltz through lead shielding, but not through Earth's atmosphere.

I do backyard observing. Often the house is in the way of some object or other. Now, if I had an X-ray telescope, it'd be no problem. I mean, you never hear astronomers talking about how some house is in the way of XMM-Newton or Chandra, right?

2006-Jun-19, 07:02 PM
Hi suitti,

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. Gamma rays have a distance they can travel through material before they've given up all their energy to ionizing atoms on the way through. The detectors work by sweeping ions in each cell. The sideways gammas go through several cells and have some losses in the cell walls.