Universe  ID: 10566

Fermi Explores Supernova Remnants

Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT) resolved gamma rays with energies a billion times greater than that of visible light from supernova remnants of different ages and in different environments. W51C, W44 and IC 443 are middle-aged remnants between 4,000 and 30,000 years old. The youngest remnant, Cassiopeia A, is only 330 years old and appears to the LAT as a point source. The images bring astronomers a step closer to understanding the source of some of the universe's most energetic particles — cosmic rays. The emissions are likely the result of accelerated protons interacting with nearby gas clouds, but other possibilities have not been eliminated. Astrophysicists believe that supernova remnants are the galaxy's best candidate sites for cosmic-ray acceleration. These observations provide further validation to the notion that supernova remnants act as enormous accelerators for cosmic particles.

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Scott Wiessinger (UMBC): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (UMBC): Producer
Stefan Funk (KIPAC): Scientist
Francis Reddy (SPSYS): Writer
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NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

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Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

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This item is part of these series:
Astrophysics Visualizations
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Goddard TV Tape:
G2010-139 -- Various Small Astrophysics projects

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Spectral/Engineering >> Gamma Ray
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Universe
SVS >> Fermi
SVS >> Supernova
NASA Science >> Universe

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