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Highlights from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

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Monday, November 8, 2010, 4 pm

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Elizabeth Hays
Fermi Deputy Project Scientist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope maps and monitors the sky over an extremely broad range in energy. The primary instrument, the Large Area Telescope, observes the entire sky every three hours at energies from ~20 MeV to >300 GeV with much greater sensitivity than previous telescopes operating in this band. The accumulated data from the first year have revealed 1451 unique gamma-ray sources, many previously undetected and many yet to be firmly identified with a known object at other wavelengths. About 30% of the sources vary in brightness and a few are transient, meaning that a singular, highly energetic event produces the gamma rays. I will focus this talk on what the gamma-ray emitters in our own Galaxy are adding to our knowledge about the production of cosmic rays and the end stages of stellar evolution. In particular, I will discuss new types of variable and transient sources found in the LAT all-sky survey.


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