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Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

2009 News

Dec 8, 2009

Fermi Sees Brightest-Ever Blazar Flare

A galaxy located billions of light-years away is commanding the attention of NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and astronomers around the globe. Thanks to a series of flares that began September 15, the galaxy is now the brightest source in the gamma-ray sky -- more than ten times brighter than it was in the summer.
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Dec 3, 2009

Data Analysis Workshop Series

The FSSC will be hosting a series of hands-on data analysis workshops for anyone interested in getting started with Fermi data analysis. A discussion of the Fermi GI program will follow each session. The current workshop schedule is:

Refer to the appropriate workshop web site for more details.

Nov 26, 2009

Fermi Telescope Peers Deep into Microquasar

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has made the first unambiguous detection of high-energy gamma-rays from an enigmatic binary system known as Cygnus X-3. The system pairs a hot, massive star with a compact object -- either a neutron star or a black hole -- that blasts twin radio-emitting jets of matter into space at more than half the speed of light.
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Nov 2, 2009

NASA's Fermi Telescope Detects Gamma-Ray From "Star Factories" in Other Galaxies

Nearby galaxies undergoing a furious pace of star formation also emit lots of gamma rays, say astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Two so-called "starburst" galaxies, plus a satellite of our own Milky Way galaxy, represent a new category of gamma-ray-emitting objects detected both by Fermi and ground-based observatories.
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Oct 28, 2009

Fermi Telescope Caps First Year With Glimpse of Space-Time

During its first year of operations, NASA's Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope mapped the extreme sky with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity.
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Sep 9, 2009

Data Analysis Workshop at GSFC on October 1

The FSSC hosted a hands-on data analysis workshop for anyone interested in getting started with Fermi data analysis. For details refer to the workshop web site.

Aug 25, 2009

LAT level-1 data products are now available for public download!

In adherence with a long-standing policy agreement the LAT level-1 data products (photon event lists and associated auxiliary files needed for analysis) are now available for public download through the FSSC web site. The current analysis software release and associated documentation can also be obtained from the FSSC web site. Click here to access the LAT data server, which currently accommodates spatial, temporal and energy selections for the event and photon data. A multi-tiered documentation set, consisting of a broad overview document, individual analysis threads, and application specific help text can be obtained here. The current version of the Fermi Science Tools, along with the associated installation guides, list of supported platforms and release notes can be obtained by clicking here. Users encountering difficulties should contact the FSSC help desk for support.

Jul 3, 2009

NASA's Fermi Telescope Probes Dozens of Pulsars

With NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers now are getting their best look at those whirling stellar cinders known as pulsars. In two studies published in the July 2 edition of Science Express, international teams have analyzed gamma-rays from two dozen pulsars, including 16 discovered by Fermi. Fermi is the first spacecraft able to identify pulsars by their gamma-ray emission alone.
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Jun 18, 2009

Selections for the Cycle-2 Guest Investigator Program

Selections for the Cycle-2 Guest Investigator Program were announced by NASA HQ on June 18, 2009. A list of these programs can be viewed here.

May 4, 2009

NASA's Fermi Explores High-energy "Space Invaders"

Since its launch last June, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered a new class of pulsars, probed gamma-ray bursts and watched flaring jets in galaxies billions of light-years away. Today at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver, Colo., Fermi scientists revealed new details about high-energy particles implicated in a nearby cosmic mystery.
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Apr 22, 2009

Fermi Active Galaxies Ready for Their Close-Up

An international team of astronomers has used the world's biggest radio telescope to look deep into the brightest galaxies that NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope can see. The study solidifies the link between an active galaxy's gamma-ray emissions and its powerful radio-emitting jets.
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Apr 20, 2009

Fermi Symposium

The 2009 Fermi Symposium is dedicated to results and prospects for scientific exploration of the Universe with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and related studies. The symposium will be held shortly after the Fermi data release, offering an opportunity for the astrophysical community to share in the excitement of discoveries being made with the Fermi instruments. Topics will include: blazars and other active galactic nuclei, pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, supernova remnants, diffuse gamma radiation, unidentified gamma-ray sources, and searches for dark matter. The meeting will be held November 2-5, 2009 in downtown Washington, D.C.

Apr 3, 2009

Active Galaxies Flare and Fade in Fermi Telescope All-Sky Movie

The gamma-ray sky comes alive in a movie made from data acquired by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope during its first three months of operations. Gamma rays from sources near and far turn the sky into a hypnotic froth. The sun arcs serenely across the northern sky as active galaxies called blazars flare up and fade out.
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Mar 18, 2009

Fermi Cycle-2 Proposal Deadline Has Passed

The Fermi Cycle-2 proposal deadline has passed. A total of 207 proposals were received in response to the Cycle-2 NRA. The proposals are currently being processed internally at the Fermi SSC, and will be assigned to anonymous peer-review committees for evaluation. The Cycle-2 peer review will take place on May 18-20, 2009. The results of that review will be announced several weeks thereafter. Feel free to contact the Fermi Help Desk if you have any questions.

Mar 18, 2009

NASA's Fermi Mission, Namibia's HESS Telescopes Explore a Blazar

An international team of astrophysicists using telescopes on the ground and in space have uncovered surprising changes in radiation emitted by an active galaxy. The picture that emerges from these first-ever simultaneous observations with optical, X-ray and new-generation gamma-ray telescopes is much more complex than scientists expected and challenges current theories of how the radiation is generated.
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Mar 17, 2009

Fermi Update

The Fermi spacecraft and LAT both experienced processor resets, and data taking stopped around 2009-03-11 03:41 UT. Both Fermi instruments were powered off and the spacecraft put itself into a stable configuration. There are good hypotheses for the root causes, and the investigation will continue. In the meantime, the spacecraft and both instruments have been completely restored to pre-event configurations, thanks to excellent work across the team, and routine science operations were restarted over the weekend. Preliminary checks, from low-level hardware distributions through a quick look at the bright pulsars, indicate everything is in excellent shape. GRB alerts have been re-enabled. The valid data periods will be marked very soon, after more detailed checkout.

Mar 11, 2009

Fermi's Best-Ever Look at the Gamma-Ray Sky

A new map combining nearly three months of data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is giving astronomers an unprecedented look at the high-energy cosmos. To Fermi's eyes, the universe is ablaze with gamma rays from sources within the solar system to galaxies billions of light-years away.
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Feb 20, 2009

Fermi Cycle-2 Guest Investigator Proposals Due Mar 6, 2009

Fermi Cycle-2 Guest Investigator proposals are due on March 6, 2009, and should be submitted via the HEASARC ARK Remote Proposal System. Click here for proposal preparation and submission details. In support of proposal preparation activities, the LAT Bright Source List has been released, and a LAT bright source list, and an initial release of the Fermi science analysis tools can be obtained here. Proposal preparation workshops were held in Chicago, Boston, at UC Berkeley, and at Goddard Space Flight Center. Presentations from these workshops are available here.
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Feb 19, 2009

NASA's Fermi Telescope Sees Most Extreme Gamma-ray Blast Yet

The first gamma-ray burst to be seen in high-resolution from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is one for the record books. The blast had the greatest total energy, the fastest motions and the highest-energy initial emissions ever seen.
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Feb 10, 2009

NASA'S Swift, Fermi Probe Fireworks from a Flaring Gamma-ray Star

Astronomers using NASA's Swift satellite and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope are seeing frequent blasts from a stellar remnant 30,000 light-years away. The high-energy fireworks arise from a rare type of neutron star known as a soft-gamma-ray repeater. Such objects unpredictably send out a series of X-ray and gamma-ray flares.
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Feb 6, 2009

Fermi Cycle-2 Guest Investigator Proposals Due Mar 6, 2009

Fermi Cycle-2 Guest Investigator proposals are due on March 6, 2009. Click here for proposal preparation and submission details. In support of proposal preparation activities, a LAT bright source list, and an initial release of the Fermi science analysis tools can be obtained here, and the LAT Bright Source List is also available. Proposal preparation workshops, with the goal of enhancing Guest Investigator participation, are currently scheduled for three venues: Chicago (1/29/09), UC Berkeley (2/11/09) and Boston (2/13/09). A similar event for Washington DC area astronomers is now planned for February 20 at Goddard Space Flight Center.
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Jan 12, 2009

Fermi Cycle-2 Guest Investigator Proposals Due Mar 6, 2009

Fermi Cycle-2 Guest Investigator proposals are due on March 6, 2009. Click here for proposal preparation and submission details. In support of proposal preparation activities, a LAT bright source list, and an initial release of the Fermi science analysis tools will be made available from this web site in early February.
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Jan 6, 2009

NASA'S Fermi Telescope Unveils a Dozen New Pulsars

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered 12 new gamma-ray-only pulsars and has detected gamma-ray pulses from 18 others. The finds are transforming our understanding of how these stellar cinders work.
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