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GLAST Makes its First Light Public !!! August 26, 2008

Posted by dorigo in astronomy, cosmology, internet, news, physics, science.
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This just in: J.D. Harrington from NASA, and Rob Gutro from the Goddard Space Flight Center inform us that NASA will announce the first results from the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope today. These include gamma-ray bursts that the telescope has observed since its launch, just two months ago, and some analysis of pulsar sources which were not well measured in the past, and now show very clearly their nature.

Another news is that the experiment is going to change its name! At the press conference the new name of the telescope will be presented.

I am impressed by the promptness with which data analysis was carried out. Of course, with a space mission things are different from ground-based detectors: everything has to be ready beforehand. Nevertheless, getting a high-resolution all-sky map of the universe at the highest light frequencies, increasing the resolution with respect to previous measurements considerably, in such a small amount of time is -well, what else?- an impressive scientific achievement. I do not know many members of GLAST, but the researchers working at the experiment for the INFN section of Padova University -Prof. Antonio Saggion, Dr. Denis Bastieri, Dr. Riccardo Rando and Dr. Luigi Tibaldo- are all very skilled, brilliant physicists. They provided a visible contribution to instrument analysis and to the study of backgrounds and diffuse sources.

The press conference is scheduled for today at 2PM EDT. You can get more information here. An audio webcast will be streamed live at this link.