Analysis of COMPTEL gamma-ray burst locations and spectra


In its first three years of operation, the COMPTEL instrument on theCompton Gamma-Ray Observatory has measured the locations (mean accuracy ∼1°) and spectra (0.75-30 MeV) of 18 gamma-ray bursts and continues to observe new events at a rate of ∼1/month. With good angular resolution and sensitivity at MeV energies, the growing COMPTEL burst catalog is an important new piece of evidence in the on-going GRB mystery. The COMPTEL burst locations are consistent with an isotropic distribution of sources, yet the spatial coincidence of two of the bursts indicates the possibility of repetition. The COMPTEL burst spectra are in most cases consistent with a single power law model with spectral index in the range 2–3. However, two bursts show evidence of a spectral break in the MeV range. Measurement of rapid variability at MeV energies in the stronger bursts provides evidence that either the sources are nearby (within the Galaxy) or the gamma-ray emission is relativistically beamed. We present an overview of analysis results obtained from the COMPTEL burst catalog concentrating on the search for burst repetition and the implications of highly variable MeV emission.



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Astrophysics and Space Science



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