Limits on Nuclear Gamma-Ray Emission from Orion
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC E O HULBURT CENTER FOR SPACE RESEARCH
Pagination or Media Count:
The discovery of gamma-ray line emission in the 3-7 MeV range from the Orion complex was recently reported Bloemen et al. 1994. The observed Compton Telescope COMPTEL spectrum suggested that the emission results from the de-excitation of excited states of 12C and 16O. We report on a search for these lines using the Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment OSSE on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory CGRO during a 5-week observation from April to June in 1995. The OSSE detectors were pointed midway between the Orion A and B radio sources in three different viewing configurations. We find no compelling evidence for line emission near 4.4 or 6.1 MeV. The sensitivity of the OSSE measurements is dependent on the widths of the reported C and O lines and on the source location and spatial extent. A point source at the flux level reported by COMPTEL and located on-axis would have been detected by OSSE at 7 sigma and 5 sigma levels of confidence for narrow and broad lines, respectively. A spatially-distributed source of the same strength with a distribution following the intense CO emission localized around Orion A and Orion B see Maddalena et al. 1986 would have been detected by OSSE at 3.5 sigma and 2.5 sigma, respectively. Thus, these OSSE observations require that any gamma-ray line source must be even more extended to be consistent with the reported COMPTEL intensity.