Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST)

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST or Fermi) is a space observatory being used to perform gamma-ray astronomy observations from low Earth orbit. Originally called the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, the mission was renamed for the physicist Enrico Fermi after its successful launch into orbit aboard a Delta II 7920-H rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida on June 11, 2008. The mission is a joint venture of NASA, the United States Department of Energy and an array of government agencies in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.

Fermi's main instrument is the Large Area Telescope (LAT), which is used to perform a continuous all-sky survey to study astrophysical and cosmological phenomena such as active galactic nuclei, pulsars, other high-energy sources and dark matter. The LAT images high-energy gamma-rays emitted in the most extreme conditions, by particles moving very nearly at the speed of light. The LAT's field of view covers about 20% of the sky and is capable of observing the whole sky every three hours. Another instrument aboard Fermi, the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), is being used to study gamma-ray bursts.

The LAT was constructed at SLAC, with contributions from the partner institutions of the LAT scientific collaboration. Currently the LAT scientific collaboration includes more than 400 scientists and students at more than 90 universities and laboratories in 12 countries. Professor Peter Michelson of Stanford University is the Principal Investigator and spokesperson for the LAT scientific collaboration. The collaboration has resulted in published papers on pulsars, active galactic nuclei, globular clusters, cosmic-ray electrons and positrons, gamma-ray bursts, binary stars, supernova remnants, diffuse gamma-ray emission, indirect searches of dark matter and other subjects.

SLAC's Fermi participation is part of the research program of the SLAC–Stanford Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.

Visit the FGST page on the KIPAC website »

Additional information about Fermi can be found on the NASA Fermi website.