I know you have all been DYING to find out if our name for the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) won the contest NASA set up earlier this year. Alas, even with the awesome-ness that was the Los Angeles contribution: “Gamma Gamma Hey!” We didn’t win. They decided to go with “The Enrico Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.” Whatever. Here are their reasons:
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-American physicist who devised what is still the most plausible explanation for the acceleration mechanism responsible for high-energy cosmic rays, and hence, for cosmic gamma rays. In addition, Fermi made important contributions to our understanding of quantum statistics and also atomic nuclei and subatomic particles. He is generally considered to be one of the outstanding scientists of the 20th Century.
He may have won the Nobel Prize, but did he know how to rock and roll?
Thanks again for those who voted way back in March.
For some of the first images taken from the Fermi and a cool satellite tracking website, join me after the break.
Caption from the NASA site: Astronomers wrapped the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope’s first all-sky map over a sphere to produce this view of the gamma-ray universe. Credit: NASA/DOE/International LAT Team
From NASA: This close-up shows the Vela pulsar, which beams radiation every 89 milliseconds as it spins. The pulses are shown slowed by 20 times. Credit: NASA/DOE/International LAT Team
Here’s a super cool website that tracks satellites in real time! The link is set for the Fermi, but you can search their whole data base.