The Universe is home to numerous exotic and beautiful phenomena, some of which can generate almost inconceivable amounts of energy. Supermassive black holes, merging neutron stars, streams of hot gas moving close to the speed of light ... these are but a few of the marvels that generate gamma-ray radiation, the most energetic form of radiation, billions of times more energetic than the type of light visible to our eyes. What is happening to produce this much energy? What happens to the surrounding environment near these phenomena? How will studying these energetic objects add to our understanding of the very nature of the Universe and how it behaves?
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, formerly GLAST, is opening this high-energy world to exploration and helping us answer these questions. With Fermi, astronomers at long last have a superior tool to study how black holes, notorious for pulling matter in, can accelerate jets of gas outward at fantastic speeds. Physicists are able to study subatomic particles at energies far greater than those seen in ground-based particle accelerators. And cosmologists are gaining valuable information about the birth and early evolution of the Universe.
For this unique endeavor, one that brings together the astrophysics and particle physics communities, NASA has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy and institutions in France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Sweden. General Dynamics was chosen to build the spacecraft. Fermi was launched June 11, 2008 at 12:05 pm EDT.
Fifth International Fermi Symposium
October 20 - 24, 2014
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Observations by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope of several stellar eruptions, called novae, firmly establish these relatively common outbursts almost always produce gamma rays, the most energetic form of light.
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In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
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A planned outage at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville over the weekend of 12-13 July will result in delayed delivery of some GBM data products. A backup pipeline will be in place by noon EDT Friday 11. GRB alerts and localization notices should be broadcast through the GRB Coordinates Network without extra latency but refined localization products and GRB response file delivery may be delayed. Trigger CTIME, CSPEC, and TTE data products will be produced by the backup pipeline but daily CTIME, CSPEC, and position history files will not. Operations at NSSTC should be nominal on July 14 at which time the missing data products will be delivered to the FSSC.