Credit: NASA/DOE/International LAT Team
Pictured above is the entire High Energy Universe in the energy range 20 million electron volts to >300 billion electron volts seen by the Large Area Telescope (or LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. Fermi, a joint venture between NASA and the Department of Energy, Stanford University and other collaborators, is the most sensitive gamma-ray telescope ever to observe the entire sky. The unprecedented sensitivity, spatial resolution and energy range will allow Fermi to fully explore the transient and steady sources of high-energy gamma-rays coming from accreting (and exploding?) black holes, rapidly spinning neutron stars, supernovae, and other sources we can only guess at. The image above represents only 4 days of LAT observations, but even in this short observation pulsars, diffuse emission from the Milky Way, and emission from supermassive black holes at the centers of active galaxies can be easily seen. One can only guess what new physics will be discovered by the end of the Fermi mission.
Published: September 01, 2008
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Thursday, 03-May-2012 14:28:15 EDT