- Where Do Gamma Rays Come From? Gamma Rays are caused by some of the most energetic events in the Universe.
Gamma rays are often produced in regions of extremely high temperature. Gamma rays
come from solar flares (eruptions on the sun's surface), pulsars (rotating objects
which regularly emit radiation), nova and super nova explosions (explosions that
cause stars to become extremely bright). Like X-rays, gamma rays are also caused
by the falling of material onto black holes, a process known as accretion.
- The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory was launched by the Space Shuttle Atlantis
of 1991 into a near Earth circular orbit.
Did you notice that scientists use orbiting spacescraft
and satellites to go above the atmosphere to collect data from the shorter light
wavelengths such as gamma rays, X-Rays, ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet? Take
a look at this image to see how the atmosphere protects us from harmful radiation
but limits the amount of information reaching astronomers.