NASA | GLASTcast | Episode 2: What are Gamma Rays?





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Uploaded on May 29, 2008

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NASA's GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.

Somewhere out in the vast depths of space, a giant star explodes with the power of millions of suns. As the star blows up, a black hole forms at its center. The black hole blows two blowtorches in opposite directions, in narrow jets of gamma rays. NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, will catch about 200 of these explosions, known as gamma-ray bursts, each year. GLAST's detailed observations may give astronomers the clues they need to unravel the mystery of what exactly produces these gamma-ray bursts, which are the brightest explosions in the universe since the Big Bang.

Interviews with (in order of appearance):

Phil Plait -- Astronomer, Bad Astronomy
David Thompson - GLAST Deputy Project Scientist, NASA Goddard
Valerie Connaughton - GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM) Team, NASA Marshall/University of Alabama
Neil Gehrels - GLAST Deputy Project Scientist, NASA Goddard
Isabelle Grenier -- Principal Investigator of the GLAST French contribution, French Atomic Energy Commission
Peter Michaelson - Large Area Telescope (LAT) Principal Investigator, Stanford University
Charles "Chip" Meegan -- GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM) Principal Investigator, NASA Marshall
Martin Pohl -- GLAST Interdisciplinary Scientist, Iowa State University
Steve Ritz - GLAST Project Scientist, NASA Goddard


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