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wednesday :: october 30, 2002
> Integral launched on October 17, 2002
from Baikonur in Kazakhstan
INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory
:: most energetic phenomena in the Universe

The European Space Agency launched a new observatory set to revolutionise the branch of astrophysics that seeks to unravel the secrets of the highest-energy - and therefore the most violent - phenomena in the Universe.

Operating in an orbit that enables it to spend most of its time outside the Van Allen radiation belts, which can hamper observation of cosmic gamma rays, Integral satellite will primarily study the densest sky objects, such as neutron stars and black holes, which are all sources of very high energy radiation.

Integral’s observations should enable astrophysicists to confirm the presence of giant black holes at the centre of galaxies, starting with the Milky Way. Other areas of interest for the European gamma-ray observatory will include events of rare violence such as nova and supernova explosions.

The gamma-ray astronomy explores the most energetic phenomena in the Universe and addresses some of the most fundamental problems in physics and astrophysics (stellar nucleosynthesis, neutron stars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts...). >from *Europe opens a window onto a violent Universe*, october 17, 2002

related context
milky way center: a supermassive black hole . october 22, 2002
> working neutrino telescope: a novel way of seeing universe. may 22, 2001

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