OSSE observations of starburst galaxy M82

Lih Sin The, Donald D. Clayton, Mark D. Leising, J. D. Kurfess, W. N. Johnson, R. L. Kinzer, M. S. Strickman, G. V. Jung, D. A. Grabelsky, W. R. Purcell, M. P. Ulmer

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


OSSE observed the starburst galaxy M82 in two viewing periods of 8 and 14 days. M82's priority as a target had been established on the grounds that the average supernova rate may be very high there, so that a significant chance of 56 Co detection exists. If M82 is at 3.4 Mpc distance, normal Type II (e.g. SN1987A) are too dim in 56 Co lines, but the Wolf-Rayet derived Type Ib, which are also massive-star core implosion objects, might be detectable to OSSE. 1,2 Expected fluxes of the 847 keV γ-line of 56 Co would be near (2-5)× 10 -5 γ cm -2 s -1 . A Type Ia in M82 would be very bright,3 near (3-6) γ 10 -4 -γ cm -2 s -1 . We present OSSE background subtracted spectra of the M82 region for viewing periods 7 and 18. These spectra show no significant excess at 847 keV or at 1238 keV, the two strongest 56 Co γ-lines. When we fit a smooth gamma continuum plus a feature having both the 847 keV and 1238 keV lines to the OSSE data, we obtain for the 847 keV line amplitude the values (-4.18 ± 3.45) × 10 -5 -γ cm -2 s -1 for viewing period 7 and (0.84 ± 2.85) × 10 -5 γ cm -2 s -1 for viewing period 18. We discuss the implications on the supernova rate in M82.

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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