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Fermi Scientists Introduce Gamma-ray Constellations

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:25 pm

Scientists with NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have devised a set of modern constellations constructed from sources in the gamma-ray sky to celebrate the mission’s 10th year of operations.

The new constellations include a few characters from modern myths. Among them are the Little Prince, the time-warping TARDIS from “Doctor Who,” Godzilla and his heat ray, the antimatter-powered U.S.S. Enterprise from “Star Trek: The Original Series” and the Hulk, the product of a gamma-ray experiment gone awry. One way or another, all of the gamma-ray constellations tie into Fermi science.

Long ago, sky watchers linked the brightest stars into patterns reflecting animals, heroes, monsters and even scientific instruments into what is now an official collection of 88 constellations

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Post by Dragon Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:29 pm

Fermi Scientists Introduce Gamma-ray Constellations Grconstellationscombinedfinal_0
Credit: NASA

Scientists with NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope devised a set of constellations for the high-energy sky to highlight the mission’s 10th year of operations.

Characters from modern myths, like the Hulk and the time-warping TARDIS from “Doctor Who,” represent one source of inspiration. Others include scientific concepts and tools, like the Fermi Satellite, and famous landmarks in countries contributing to the development and operation of Fermi. The mission has mapped about 3,000 gamma-ray sources -- 10 times the number known before its launch and comparable to the number of bright stars in the traditional constellations.

The background shows the gamma-ray sky as mapped by Fermi. The prominent reddish band is the plane of our own galaxy, the Milky Way; brighter colors indicate brighter gamma-ray sources.

Source / Image Courtesy


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Fermi Scientists Introduce Gamma-ray Constellations 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:34 pm



By 2015, Fermi's Large Area Telescope had mapped some 3,000 gamma-ray sources -- 10 times the number known before the mission. For the first time, the number of known gamma-ray sources was comparable to the number of bright stars in the traditional constellations, inspiring the team to develop a set for the high-energy sky. The 21 gamma-ray constellations include famous landmarks in countries contributing to Fermi science.

Others represent scientific ideas or tools, from Schrödinger’s Cat -- both alive and dead, thanks to quantum physics -- to Albert Einstein, Radio Telescope and Black Widow Spider, the namesake of a class of pulsars that evaporate their unfortunate companion stars.


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