Observation of the starburst galaxy NGC 253 with the OSSE instrument

Dipen Bhattacharya, Neil Gehrels, J. D. Kurfess, W. N. Johnson, R. L. Kinzer, M. S. Strickman, Lih Sin The, G. V. Jung, D. A. Grabelsky, W. R. Purcell, M. P. Ulmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Gamma-ray observations of the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253 over the energy range 0.06-10 MeV have been obtained with the OSSE spectrometer. The source was detected up to 200 keV with a total significance of 4.2σ. When attributed to NGC 253 this corresponds to an estimated luminosity of 3 × 10 40 ergs s -1 . The spectrum is fit by a power law of photon index ∼ 2.5. A search for 56 Ni → 56 Co → 56 Fe supernova gamma-ray lines yielded no significant detection: the 3σ upper limits at 0.158, 0.847 and 1.238 MeV are 4 × 10 -5 , 8 × 10 -5 and 9×10 -5 ph cm -2 s -1 , respectively. We find that inverse Compton scattering is insufficient to explain the observed continuum radiation. Bremsstrahlung and discrete sources may account for the flux. We also consider the possibility that the detected emission may result from low energy continuum from scattered gamma-ray lines produced by a very recent Type Ia or Ib supernova outburst in NGC 253.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCompton Gamma-Ray Observatory
EditorsNeil Gehrels, Michael W. Friedlander, Daryl J. Macomb
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)1563961040
StatePublished - 1993
EventCompton Symposium - St. Louis, United States
Duration: Oct 15 1992Oct 17 1992

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


ConferenceCompton Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySt. Louis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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