The european satellite INTEGRAL (INTErnational Gamma RAy Laboratory), a project of the European Space Agency (ESA), was launched by a PROTON rocket from Baïkonour (Kazakhstan) on October 17, 2002. INTEGRAL is the most sensitive observatory in the hard X-ray and soft gamma-ray domain ever built.
Some technical data:
The objective of the INTEGRAL mission is to detect gamma-ray photons emitted by the most violent phenomena of the Universe and to simultaneously observe the X-rays and optical light emitted by these sources. A key part of the programme is the observation and monitoring of the galactic plane and the galactic center.
The Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique of the Liège University (IAG) contributed to the design of the Optical Monitor Camera OMC onboard INTEGRAL and is also a partner of the INTEGRAL Science Data Center (ISDC, Versoix, Suisse) consortium. The ISDC publishes an electronic newsletter relating the latest results obtained with INTEGRAL.
Observing time (both in the guaranteed time and the open time) has been obtained by the high-energy astrophysics group (GAPHE) of the IAG (for further details please contact Gregor Rauw (G.Rauw@uliege.be).
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