The “Pre-SMM” (Vestrand and Miller 1998) picture of gamma-ray line (GRL) flares was that they are relatively rare events. This picture was quickly put in question with the launch of the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM). Over 100 GRL flares were seen with sizes ranging from very large GOES class events (X12) down to moderately small events (M2). It was argued by some (Bai 1986) that this was still consistent with the idea that GRL events are rare. Others, however, argued the opposite (Vestrand 1988; Cliver, Crosby and Dennis 1994), stating that the lower end of this distribution was just a function of SMM’s sensitivity. They stated that the launch of the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory (CGRO) would in fact continue this distribution to show even smaller GRL flares. In response to a BACODINE cosmic gamma-ray burst alert, COMPtonTELescope on the CGRO recorded gamma rays above 1 MeV from the C4 flare at 0221 UT 20 January 2000. This event, though at the limits of COMPTEL’s sensitivity, clearly shows a nuclear line excess above the continuum. Using new spectroscopy techniques we were able to resolve individual lines. This has allowed us to make a basic comparison of this event with the GRL flare distribution from SMM and also compare this flare with a well-observed large GRL flare seen by OSSE.


Space Science Center, Physics

Publication Date


Journal Title

AIP Conference Proceedings


AIP Publishing

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


© 2001 American Institute of Physics