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The Compton gamma ray observatory (CGRO) has been the most powerful instrument ever launched by NASA's space shuttle until 1991 and continues to revolutionize gamma ray astronomy.
Before Compton loses more stabilizing gyroscopes, NASA is evaluating the possibility of firing its rockets and forcing a controlled re-entry over the ocean.
This orbital observatory explores the gamma-ray photons of the sky (so light blue that we humans can't see). These photons are blocked by the earth's atmosphere and do not reach the surface. The results of the CGRO, photographed in the image above, have shown that the entire universe is a violent place with rapid changes, when observed in gamma rays.
Astronomers continue to make important discoveries thanks to CGRO data, these include mysterious gamma-ray bursts that illuminate the beginning of the universe, a whole new class of QSOs and objects so strange that astronomers are not able to explain so far.
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