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.
Major improvements to methods used to process observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have yielded an expanded, higher-quality set of data that allows astronomers to produce the most detailed census of the sky yet made at extreme energies.
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Proposals to participate in the Fermi Cycle-9 Guest Investigator Program are due by 16:30 EST January 22, 2016. For additional details and instructions on how to propose please refer to the Proposals page of the FSSC web site and to the Fermi appendix (D.6) to the 2015 ROSES NRA which is hosted by the NSPIRES web facility. We strongly encourage prospective proposers who have not already done so to review these documents prior to preparing their proposals.
Astronomers using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected hints of periodic changes in the brightness of a so-called "active" galaxy, whose emissions are powered by a supersized black hole.
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