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Observations of High-energy Gamma-ray Bursts with EGRET

  • M. Merck (a1), D.L. Bertsch (a2), B.L. Dingus (a2) (a3), C.E. Fichtel (a2), R.C. Hartman (a2), S.D. Hunter (a2), G. Kanbach (a1), D.A. Kniffen (a4), Y.C. Lin (a5), H.A. Mayer-Hasselwander (a1), P.F. Michelson (a5), C. von Montignty (a2), R. Mukherjee (a2) (a3), P.L. Nolan (a5), M. Pohl (a1), P. Sreekumar (a2) (a3), E.J. Schneid (a6) and D.J. Thompson (a2)...

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Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) have puzzled astronomers since their discovery more than 20 years ago. As no counterparts at wavelengths other than X- and γ-rays have yet been found the identification of the sources is still missing. Theoretical explanations range from colliding comets (1993) and merging neutron stars (1982) to more exotic objects, such as superconducting cosmic strings (1988). Data accumulated until now still do not discriminate between these models, although results from the BATSE (Burst and Transient Source Experiment) instrument aboard the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) strongly favor extragalactic models.

The Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) aboard CGRO has s ofar detected photons from 5 GRBs with its spark chamber. These are the highest energy γ-rays associated with GRBs to date. In this work we review previously published data and summarize the properties of these events. Elsewhere we present possible constraints from the data on the models proposed to explain GRBs.

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References

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Dingus, B.L., et al., 1994, in Gamma Ray Bursts, Fishman, G., Brainerd, J. & Hurley, K. (eds.), AIP Conference Procedings 307, 22
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