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Space Science

New Map From Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-incredible-telescope dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "NASA has received interesting results from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, originally known as GLAST, which has allowed them to create new map of the gamma-ray sky. The secret to its ability to resolve gamma-rays is that they use layers of tungsten interleaved with silicon detectors. When a gamma-ray strikes tungsten, it produces an electron/positron pair due to the photoelectric effect, which cascades as it goes through further layers of tungsten. Meanwhile, they record which silicon detectors had electrons or positrons pass through them to determine the direction of the source and they also record the total energy of the electron/positron pairs to calculate the wavelength of the gamma-ray using Planck's Law. The data gathered in just its first few hours of operation is reportedly comparable to the data from the Energetic Gamma-Ray Experiment Telescope, which gathered data for nine years back in the 1990's and there are hopes that it could detect dark matter in the form of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs)."
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New Map From Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope

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