GLAST Blast – click for larger image
Today, NASA launched into space a new telescope to explore high-energy cosmic events in distant galaxies.
The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, known as GLAST, will detect intense energy emitted from some of the universe’s most powerful phenomena. See the official GLAST website here:
Scientists say GLAST will aid research into massive black holes as well as neutron stars, which have cores so dense that a spoonful of their matter would weigh over one billion tons.
One of the most interesting things to me is the Cosmic Ray study the spacecraft will do, specifically looking at gamma ray bursts:
“Cosmic rays, the highest-energy particles in nature, are thought to be formed when stars collapse and produce tremendous shock waves. GLAST will test this theory by measuring the spectra of gamma rays from the remnants of supernovae, where cosmic rays should be abundant,” says GLAST Interdisciplinary Scientist Charles Dermer of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.
The mission was developed by NASA in collaboration with institutions in five other countries.