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.
The stage-I selection process for the Fermi Cycle-14 Guest Investigator program has been completed. There were a total of 35 new programs selected for stage-I out of 87 proposals submitted. A list of the selected programs, including the PIs, titles and abstracts is available on the FSSC web site.
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The updated files include the addition of the SC_VELOCITY column. This column contains a vector with the spacecraft velocity in meters per second (in the same coordinate frame as SC_POSITION) at the start of the interval to aid pulsar timing and other precise applications that require the full state vector. The files improve the calculation of the spacecraft geodetic latitude and altitude. The geodetic calculation now uses the exact Ferrari's solution rather than the approximation that was done previously. The changes in latitude are less than 0.04 degrees. The changes in altitude are from 0 to 6 km. In both cases, the difference is minimum at the equator and maximum at the latitude extremes. The files also use the latest the IGRF model, a standard mathematical description of the Earth's main magnetic field. The previous IGRF expired at the end if 2019. The 2020 and 2021 spacecraft files have been reprocessed to use the IGRF-13 model. Both the 30-second and 1-second files have been updated. The FSSC's data server now returns the new files. The weekly and mission long files have been updated on the FSSC's FTP site.