Navy Researchers Put Dark Lightning to the SWORD

by Jason Major June 13, 2013

Discovered “by accident” by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in 2010, dark lightning is a surprisingly powerful — yet invisible — by-product of thunderstorms in Earth’s atmosphere. Like regular lightning, dark lightning is the result of a natural process of charged particles within storm clouds trying to cancel out opposing charges. Unlike normal lightning, though, […]

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Supernovae Seed Universe With Cosmic Rays

by Tammy Plotner February 15, 2013

In a wave of media releases, the latest studies performed by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope are lighting up the world of particle astrophysics with the news of how supernovae could be the progenitor of cosmic rays. These subatomic particles are mainly protons, cruising along through space at nearly the speed of light. The rest […]

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Finding Out What Dark Matter Is – And Isn’t

by Jason Major April 3, 2012

Astronomers using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope have been looking for evidence of suspected types of dark matter particles within faint dwarf galaxies near the Milky Way — relatively “boring” galaxies that have little activity but are known to contain large amounts of dark matter. The results? These aren’t the particles we’re looking for. Jason […]

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To The Extreme… NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope Gathers In High Energy

by Tammy Plotner January 17, 2012

It scans the entire visible sky every three hours. Its job is to gather light – but not just any light. What’s visible to our eyes averages about 2 and 3 electron volts, but NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope is taking a deep look into a higher realm… the electromagnetic range. Here the energy doesn’t […]

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Cygnus X – A Cosmic-ray Cocoon

by Tammy Plotner November 29, 2011

Situated about 4,500 light-years away in the constellation of Cygnus is a veritable star factory called Cygnus X… one estimated to have enough “raw materials” to create as many as two million suns. Caught in the womb are stellar clusters and OB associations. Of particular interest is one labeled Cygnus OB2 which is home to […]

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