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Friday, March 2, 2012

Thunderstorms Create Antimatter

This just might be my favorite short that's ever come out of NASA.
"Antimatter Explosions"
In this video, a fascinating discovery made through NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is explained.

Video Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Created in late Jan. 2012, this was released shortly thereafter on Goddard Multimedia.

This is really just scratching the surface.
Here are some of the other discoveries we've made through this mission:

(This bit from Wikipedia.  See the article HERE)
Greatest GRB energy release
In September 2008, the gamma-ray burst GRB 080916C in the constellation Carina was recorded by the Fermi telescope. This burst is notable as having “the largest apparent energy release yet measured”.  The explosion had the power of about 9,000 ordinary supernovae, and the relativistic jet of material ejected in the blast must have moved at a minimum of 99.9999% the speed of light. Overall, GRB 080916C had “the greatest total energy, the fastest motions, and the highest-energy initial emissions” ever seen.

Cosmic rays and supernova remnants
In February 2010, it was announced that Fermi-LAT had determined that supernova remnants act as enormous accelerators for cosmic particles. This determination fulfills one of the stated missions for this project.

Background gamma ray sources
In March 2010 it was announced that active galactic nuclei are not responsible for most gamma-ray background radiation.  Though active galactic nuclei do produce some of the gamma-ray radiation detected here on Earth, less than 30% originates from these sources. The search now is to locate the sources for the remaining 70% or so of all gamma-rays detected. Possibilities include star forming galaxies, galactic mergers, and yet-to-be explained dark matter interactions.  -Wikipedia

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