A full year of sky survey observations!

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.

12 thoughts on “A full year of sky survey observations!”

  1. Thanks for keeping this blog up to date, and keeping us informed about all the activity that went on.


  3. Hi, i’m Bruno from Argentina, I’m studying Chemical Engineering and I’ve been always curious about Einstein Relativity, and about the stars and the power of the light and photons. So I’m posting this comment just to let you know that I support your work and so you won’t stop writing in this blog.

    I know it’s a pretty difficult topic, but I would like some more “technical” explanation of what you’re doing, I might get it or more probably I might not XD but I’ll give it a try, that’s for Sure.

    Keep up the good work!!! I WANNA KNOW WHAT GRAVITY REALLY IS!!!

  4. Hello !

    I have a question regarding the recent findings about the different speed of high vs. low energy photons. I assume you have excluded the probability that high and low energy photons got ejected at different times by knowing what happens during a gamma-ray burst, and when high and low energy is radiated.

    I assume you have also compared different gamma ray bursts which traveled through differently “dense” space, and have excluded that the matter in between (gas, dust, etc.) the burst and the telescope is responsible for the time difference.

    These are just two questions which I would be interested.

    This lower part of my posting, is just a theory how I would explain your findings:

    If Einsteins theory about the absolute speed of light in empty space is not absolutely correct, and the energy of each photos results in different speeds. Could it be that Planck when thinking about his quantum already had something in mind like a photon having an absolut amount of energy, which it could invest either into it’s electromagnetic part or its gravitational, space distorting part.

    As far as I know, a huge mass distorts the space around it. The nearer you get to a huge mass (black hole, neutron stars) the less “dense” the space is around it. The linear direction is not the shortest anymore (somehow like when a light-beam enters a material of different optical density i.e. light beam from air into water gets bent).

    Now could it be, that a low electromagnetic energy photon invests most of it’s “constant total-energy” into contracting the space in front and behind it – so it has less way to travel. And a high energy photon investing most of its total energy into its electromagnetic part has to travell a much longer way as it can’t shorten the way betweens its source and destination this way???

    So I rather see it this way, while you assume the high-energy particle is slowed down by the fabrics of space.

    I hope you do not see my theory as offense and send out the inquisition to me 😉


  5. Wow..!!
    Indeed a nice blog though a bit isolated. Read through your posts and they are really interesting, though 09 has ended 2 days before i write this comment, it was surely an amazing year for me and my space research too.
    I felt a lack of images and color on this blog. Some nice images posted in your further posts would be appreciated.
    Syd from

  6. Congrats for doing such good work.You did fantastic work.
    I would like to more about your survey.

  7. Thanks for the Fermi update. It is amazing to hear about documentation of the Gamma ray burst. Awesome Power. Good Luck to Steve!

  8. Very useful article, thanks for sharing! It's great that people are actually trying to do good things for these world, unfortunately there are less and less each day!


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