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June 11, 2018 - Gathering Gamma Rays

Gathering Gamma Rays  Gamma rays are the highest energy form of light, even higher than X-rays, with about 100,000 times the energy of visible light. This short-wavelength radiation is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, so the only way to observe it is with space-based observatories. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched ten years ago this week, studies events such as Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), sudden and mysterious outbursts that can, in just a few seconds, emit 100 times the energy that the Sun will produce over its entire 10 billion-year lifetime. Fermi also studies blazars, neutron stars, gamma-ray background radiation, supernova remnants, dark matter, and more. This gamma-ray map of the Milky Way’s center shows the two opposing high-energy bubbles that Fermi first detected in 2010.

Image credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

Weekly Calendar

June 11 - 17, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 11

2008: Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope launched
2013: Shenzhou 10 launched, China's fifth human spaceflight mission

Moon phase Tuesday 12

1967: Venera 4 launched

Moon phase Wednesday 13

New Moon 3:43 PM ET

1831: James Clerk Maxwell born
1974: National Space Society founded
1983: Pioneer 10 leaves solar system, begins traveling in interstellar space
2010: Hayabusa spacecraft returns first asteroid samples to Earth
2012: NuSTAR X-Ray telescope launched

Moon phase Thursday 14

Flag Day

Moon at perigee

1967: Mariner 5 launched
1975: Venera 10 launched
1985: Vega 2 deploys lander and balloon on Venus

Moon phase Friday 15

1971: First Titan III-D rocket launch
2010: Soyuz TMA-19 launched carrying ISS Expedition 24/25 crew

Moon phase Saturday 16

Venus 2° north of Moon

1963: Vostok 6 launched; Valentina Tereshkova first woman in space, still the only solo spaceflight by a woman
2012: Shenzhou 9 launched, fourth Chinese human space flight

Moon phase Sunday 17

Father's Day

1985: STS-51G Discovery launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.