Fermi's LAT Instrument

  • Released Saturday, February 25, 2012
  • Updated Friday, June 8, 2018 at 3:02PM
  • ID: 20122

Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT) detects particles produced in a physical process known as pair production that epitomizes Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2. When a gamma ray, which is pure energy (E), slams into a layer of tungsten in one of the tracking towers that compose the LAT, it creates mass (m) in the form of a pair of subatomic particles, an electron and its antimatter counterpart, a positron. Several layers of high-precision silicon detectors track the particles as they move through the instrument. The direction of the incoming gamma ray is determined by projecting the particle paths backward. The particles travel through the trackers until they reach a separate detector called a calorimeter, which absorbs and measures their energies. The LAT produces gamma-ray images of astronomical objects, while also determining the energy of each detected gamma ray.

For More Information

See http://www.nasa.gov/GLAST


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

Fermi (Collected with the LAT sensor)
Event List

Fermi Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) Large Area Telescope (LAT)

Dataset can be found at: http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov

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