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GLAST (Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope)

June 19, 2008

A new space telescope will give astronomers an unprecedented view of the universe.


Seeing the universe in a new light. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Surprisingly, the most powerful pulses of radiation in the universe aren’t easy to observe. They’re called gamma rays, and the brand new Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, will allow us to see them much more clearly than ever before. Deputy project scientist Julie McEnery of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center says GLAST could give us a fresh look at our universe.

JULIE McENERY (NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center):
The light that we’re viewing with GLAST is about a hundred million to two hundred billion times more energetic than what we see with our eyes. And when you see the universe in a different wavelength of light, what you see is a completely different picture.

She says the images will shed light on mysterious phenomena like black holes, ultra-powerful gamma ray explosions, and the invisible dark matter that makes up most of the universe. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.