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Carl Seyfert Astronomy Lecture: Overview of Fermi and its window on the highly energetic universe

Thursday, April 17, 2014,

  • Location: Community Room, Jean and Alexander Heard Library • Vanderbilt University • Nashville, TN 37204

 Two special lectures by Dr. Peter Michelson: 3 p.m. Community Room, Jean and Alexander Heard Library and 7 p.m. Dyer Observatory.

Peter Michelson, Stanford University and spokesperson for the Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope will lecture on the abstract:

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope images the entire sky every three hours. It has been doing this for more than five years and has revealed thousands of previously unknown high-energy gamma-ray sources both within the Milky Way galaxy and at cosmological distances that vary on timescales from milliseconds to years. These sources include active galaxies containing super massive black holes, rapidly spinning neutron stars (pulsars), supernova remnants, and high-energy gamma ray bursts. Fermi has revealed not only new sources and source classes, but has taught us unexpected new things about well-studied objects such as the Crab nebula. This talk begins with a brief reminiscence of how Fermi (then known as GLAST) was conceived of, then surveys the time-variable high-energy sky that Fermi has revealed, and concludes with a summary of unanswered questions (such as What is the nature of Dark Matter?) that future observations with the Fermi Observatory may answer.

Pre-lecture reception in the Library Gallery at 2:30 p.m.