August 26th, 2008

star-forming nebula

Astro-Image of the Day2: first light for the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope

After too long not posting my Astro-Image of the Day, I hereby share a second one! The powers of teh intarwebs, they intoxicate me! Bwahahahaha!

Ahem. So here's the first image taken by NASA's newest orbital telescope, the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope (formerly known as the artist... er, as "GLAST." Yeah, the new name is cooler.). This powerhouse scans the entire sky every three hours while also performing detailed observations of the most-distant portions of the universe. Coool (er, hot).

Today's image shows the entire sky. The Milky Way Galaxy glows bright at the center, the Vela Pulsar, and the blazar (an extremely active galaxy) 3C454.3, billions of light-years away. This new FMGRST (er, maybe GLAST was more acronym-friendly) map is a composite of the instrument's first 95 hours of observations:

Click the image to see the story.

Oooh, this Wiki image of the Vela Pulsar is too cool not to share:

Click the image for an even-bigger shot.

Check out this awesome all-sky version of the new image (very large).

Astronomy is awesome these days.

Best,
Chris