Monthly Archives: August 2009

A full year of sky survey observations!

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One year ago today, Fermi started sky survey observations after completing observatory and instrument commissioning ahead of schedule.

What a year! 

The previous entry described our first light results. Since then, we have discovered new populations of pulsars in  our Galaxy. We have observed a extraordinary gamma-ray burst, which was the most powerful explosion in the Universe ever seen. We have explored the properties of the diffuse gamma-ray radiation, which permeates the Milky Way. We see the the Sun, the Moon and the Earth shining in high energy gamma-rays. Our continuous monitoring of the high-energy gamma-ray sky has uncovered numerous outbursts powered by supermassive black holes at the center of distant galaxies.

Comings and goings…

We were sad to see Steve Ritz leave NASA in July. As project scientist he has overseen the development of all aspects of the GLAST/Fermi mission from before launch and guided the transition into the smoothly operating mission that we have now. I am daunted to be filling such big shoes. Happily, Liz Hays has has joined Dave Thompson, and Neil Gehrels as Fermi Deputy project scientists so we remain at full strength.

We are looking forward to continuing this blog to share mission highlights, science results and interesting operations tidbits.