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Gamma-Ray Telescope to Open New Window on Cosmic Explosions
from Scientific American
NASA on Saturday is set to launch the next generation of space-based gamma-ray detectors. If all goes as planned, GLAST - for Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope - will within months begin to send back detailed, real-time data on the most energetic explosions and flare-ups the cosmos has to offer.
You may think of gamma rays as tools for scorching tumors or maybe as the stuff of comic book and TV lore .... In fact, gamma rays are very high energy x-rays produced when powerful energetic forces strongly accelerate electrons and send them hurtling through space.
GLAST will fill a blind spot in researchers' view of the heavens by scanning a wide swath of gamma rays, including a stretch of spectrum never before observed by ground- or space-based telescopes.
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