GLASTcast Episode 2: What are Gamma Rays?

  • Released Friday, May 23, 2008
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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 in the universe since the Big Bang.

Interviews with (in order of appearance):

Phil Plait - Astronomer, Bad Astronomy

David Thompson - GLAST Deputy Project Scientist, NASA Goddard

Valerie Connaughton - GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM) Team, NASA Marshall/University of Alabama

Neil Gehrels - GLAST Deputy Project Scientist, NASA Goddard

Isabelle Grenier - Principal Investigator of the GLAST French contribution, French Atomic Energy Commission

Peter Michaelson - Large Area Telescope (LAT) Principal Investigator, Stanford University

Charles "Chip" Meegan - GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM) Principal Investigator, NASA Marshall

Martin Pohl - GLAST Interdisciplinary Scientist, Iowa State University

Steve Ritz - GLAST Project Scientist, NASA Goddard


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Friday, May 23, 2008.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:55 PM EDT.


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