Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elusive Gamma Rays Beware: GLAST Investigation Selected

Date:
February 29, 2000
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
NASA has announced the selection of an investigation to be flown on the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission, planned for launch in 2005. GLAST will explore the most energetic and violent events in a quest for the ultimate sources of energy in the Universe.

NASA has announced the selection of an investigation to be flown on the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission, planned for launch in 2005. In addition to the flight investigation, NASA selected four interdisciplinary scientist investigations to broaden the scientific expertise available to the project.

GLAST will explore the most energetic and violent events in a quest for the ultimate sources of energy in the Universe. Objects explored will include distant galaxies fueled by super massive black holes at the center, neutron stars and individual black holes, remnants of stars that have ended their life with an explosion (supernova), and many others at the extremes of mass and energy.

Almost 300 objects have been observed to emit high-energy gamma rays and yet less than half of these have been identified with objects seen at other wavelengths. What mysteries are lurking in these illusive objects? The GLAST mission will also explore the very high-energy component of gamma-ray bursts, still one of the greatest mysteries of astrophysics.

Even the dimmest of these bursts is as bright as the brightest of the steady high-energy gamma-ray sources. The discovery of high-energy gamma rays from these mostly low-energy gamma-ray events constrains the models for the gamma-ray "flash bulbs." The major improvement in sensitivity and precision of the observations will provide an opportunity for new discoveries. One possibility is the search for evidence for some of the most exotic particles predicted by physicists to be candidates for the dark matter of the Universe.

The GLAST mission's primary scientific objectives require an instrument with large collecting area, imaging capability over a very large field of view, the ability to measure the energy of the gamma rays over an unprecedented range of energies, and time precision to study transient phenomena characteristic of gamma-ray sources. The instrument must be carefully designed in order to weed out the rare gamma rays from the much more abundant cosmic rays, and other backgrounds such as gamma rays produced by these cosmic rays slamming into the molecules in the Earth's atmosphere.

The investigation selected by NASA is the "GLAST Large Area Telescope Flight Investigation: A Particle-Astrophysics Partnership to Explore the High-Energy Universe." The Principal Investigator is Professor Peter F. Michelson of Stanford University. The investigation is a collaborative international effort involving a major contribution from the U.S. Department of Energy, and contributions from France, Italy, Japan and Sweden. The instrument covers the energy range from 10 million to 1 trillion electron volts. It has about 50 times the sensitivity of any previous gamma-ray investigation and covers a much broader energy range with high angular precision.

NASA's cost to develop the GLAST mission is approximately $200 million, which includes approximately $70 million for the primary instrument.

The four interdisciplinary scientists selected and their investigations are:

* Stephen Thorsett of the University of California at Santa Cruz, "Observations of Rotation Powered Pulsars in Support of GLAST." This work will provide important information to allow the study of gamma rays from pulsars by the primary instrument.

* Professor Brenda Dingus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, "GLAST: A GeV All-Sky Monitor of Transient Phenomena." The purpose of this investigation is to alert other space- and ground-based observers of the occurrence of a transient phenomenon, such as a gamma-ray burst or gamma-ray flaring quasar, so that the object may be observed at many wavelengths simultaneously to obtain the most information possible.

* Dr. Charles D. Dermer of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., "Exploring the Nonthermal Universe: Analysis and Modeling to Maximize the Scientific Impact of GLAST." This investigation will provide a theoretical framework for the GLAST studies.

* Dr. Martin Pohl , Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany, "Modeling the diffuse galactic gamma-ray emission." The model provided in this work is essential to the analysis of GLAST data.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Elusive Gamma Rays Beware: GLAST Investigation Selected." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000229075800.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2000, February 29). Elusive Gamma Rays Beware: GLAST Investigation Selected. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000229075800.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Elusive Gamma Rays Beware: GLAST Investigation Selected." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000229075800.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins