NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) is a powerful space observatory that will open a wide window on the universe. Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of light and the gamma-ray sky is spectacularly different from the one we perceive with our own eyes. With a huge leap in all key capabilities, GLAST data will enable scientists to answer persistent questions across a broad range of topics, including supermassive black-hole systems, pulsars, the origina of cosmic rays, and searches for signals new physics. NASA's GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.
Somewhere out in the vast depths of space, a giant star explodes with the power of millions of suns. As the star blows up, a black hole forms at its center. The black hole blows two blowtorches in opposite directions, in narrow jets of gamma rays. NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, will catch about 200 of these explosions, known as gamma-ray bursts, each year. GLAST's detailed observations may give astronomers the clues they need to unravel the mystery of what exactly produces these gamma-ray bursts, which are the brightest explosions inthe universe since the Big Bang.
NASA's GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.
The Universe is home to numerous exotic and beautiful phenomena, some of which can generate inconceivable amounts of energy. GLAST will open a new window on this high-energy world. With GLAST, astronomers will have a superior tool to study how black holes, notorious for pulling matter in, can accelerate jets of gas outward at fantastic speeds. Physicists will be able to search for signals of new fundamental processes that are inaccessible in ground-based accelerators and observatories. GLAST's spectacular high-energy gamma-ray 'eyeglasses' will reveal hidden wonders, opening our minds to new possibilities and discoveries, expanding our understanding of the Universe and our place in it.
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