On Aug. 26, 2020, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a pulse of high-energy radiation that had been racing toward Earth for nearly half the present age of the universe. Lasting only about a second, it turned out to be one for the record books - the shortest gamma-ray burst (GRB) caused by the death of a massive star ever seen.
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There was a hardware failure at the Fermi GBM Science Operations Center and repairs are ongoing. In the meantime, the processing of the Fermi GBM data to FITS files is delayed. This includes CTTE, CTIME, CSPEC, POSHIST and location contour maps. When the repairs are completed, the backlog of data will be processed and posted to the Fermi Science Support Center. GBM Burst Alerts continue to be distributed through the GCN during this outage.
Congratulations to Dr. Patrizia Caraveo on her award of the 2021 "Enrico Fermi" Prize from the Italian Physical Society (SIF) for being a world leader for high energy emission from neutron stars and for her contribution to the identification of Geminga.
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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.
NASA has changed the backend software that runs its mailing lists. The web interface to managing subscriptions can now only be accessed by NASA personnel. NASA is working on a long-term solution that will provide a public web front. Until that is implemented, you can change subscription preferences using commands in an email sent to the service. Subscribe to a list by sending an e-mail to LISTNAMEfirstname.lastname@example.org (no subject or text in the body is required). Unsubscribe from a list by sending an e-mail to LISTNAMEemail@example.com (no subject or text in the body is required). If you are having trouble subscribing or unsubscribing from a list, you can send an e-mail to the list owner at LISTNAMEfirstname.lastname@example.org. We have included these instructions on the web page.
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.
Owing to the severe weather situation and power outages in Texas and other areas NASA has decided to postpone the Fermi Cycle-14 proposal deadline until March 1, 2021, 16:30 EST. If you have already submitted a proposal you need not resubmit unless you wish to make changes which you may do up to the new deadline. Submission procedures are otherwise unchanged; refer to our website for details.
The deadline for Fermi Cycle 14 Guest Investigator proposals is coming soon: Feb 19 at 16:30 EST. To help you prepare your proposals, the project and science support center will host a virtual workshop to provide information about updates to the program (for example, preparing proposals for dual anonymous review) and to provide support for new proposers. Please register using this form by Feb 1 so that we can send you the details to join the virtual meeting.
On April 15, 2020, a brief burst of high-energy light swept through the solar system, triggering instruments on several NASA and European spacecraft. Now, multiple international science teams conclude that the blast came from a supermagnetized stellar remnant known as a magnetar located in a neighboring galaxy.
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