Fermi Observation of Early Background Light Animation

  • Released Thursday, November 1, 2012
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This animation tracks several gamma rays through space and time, from their emission in the jet of a distant blazar to their arrival in Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT). During their journey, the number of randomly moving ultraviolet and optical photons (blue) increases as more and more stars are born in the universe. Eventually, one of the gamma rays encounters a photon of starlight and the gamma ray transforms into an electron and a positron. The remaining gamma-ray photons arrive at Fermi, interact with tungsten plates in the LAT, and produce the electrons and positrons whose paths through the detector allows astronomers to backtrack the gamma rays to their source.

Animation that includes a view of how Fermi’s Large Area Telescope detects gamma rays by converting them into electron-positron pairs. This is an upres of the original animation frames to UHD resolution (3840 x 2160).

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


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

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, November 1, 2012.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:18 AM EST.


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:


This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • Fermi EBL Media Telecon (ID: 2012104)
    Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 4:00AM
    Produced by - Robert Crippen (NASA)

Datasets used in this visualization

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