Sun  ID: 10540

Brightest-ever Flare From Blazar 3C 454.3

The blazar 3C 454.3, which lies 7.2 billion light-years away in the constellation Pegasus, underwent a series of intense flares in the fall of 2009. By December, it had become the brightest persistent gamma-ray source in the sky — more than ten times brighter than it was in the summer. These all-sky images, which record the numbers of high-energy gamma-rays captured by Fermi's Large Area Telescope on Dec. 3 and Nov. 18, clearly show the change. Typically, the Vela pulsar, which lies only 1,000 light-years away, is the sky's brightest persistent source of gamma rays. Blazar 3C 454.3, which is millions of times farther away, rose to twice Vela's brightness. Astronomers suspect the activity is driven by some change within the galaxy's black-hole-powered particle jet, but they do not understand the details.
 

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For More Information

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/brightest-blazar.html


Credits

Stefano Ciprini (INFN): Animator
Benoit Lott (CENBG): Animator
Scott Wiessinger (UMBC): Video Editor
Scott Wiessinger (UMBC): Producer
Julie McEnery (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Francis Reddy (SPSYS): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration Goddard Space Flight Center

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Missions:
Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
GLAST

Data Used:
Fermi
Fermi/LAT
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:
Fermi
Astrophysics Visualizations
Astrophysics Stills

Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
DLESE >> Space science
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Spectral/Engineering >> Gamma Ray
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Universe
SVS >> GLAST
SVS >> Space
SVS >> Gamma Ray Observatory
SVS >> Fermi
SVS >> Blazar
NASA Science >> Sun

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0