Thursday January 24, 2019
Home Science & Technology New Gamma-Ray...

New Gamma-Ray Collection Named After Hulk, Godzilla: NASA

Since 2008, Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT) has been scanning the entire sky each day, mapping and measuring sources of gamma rays, the highest-energy light in the universe.

0
//
Kepler, NASA, tissue
NASA to use Blockchain technology for air traffic management. Pixabay

NASA has used certain characters from modern myths such as the “Hulk” and “Godzilla” to name its new set of 21 gamma-ray constellations constructed in celebration of its Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope’s 10th year of operations.

Fermi has mapped about 3,000 gamma-ray sources — 10 times the number known before its launch and comparable to the number of bright stars in the traditional constellations.

“For the first time ever, the number of known gamma-ray sources was comparable to the number of bright stars, so we thought a new set of constellations was a great way to illustrate the point,” NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Elizabeth Ferrara who led the constellation project said in a statement.

Gamma-ray constellation
The background shows the gamma-ray sky as mapped by Fermi. The prominent reddish band is the plane of our own galaxy, the Milky Way; brighter colors indicate brighter gamma-ray sources. NASA

 

“Developing these unofficial constellations was a fun way to highlight a decade of Fermi’s accomplishments,” Julie McEnery, the Fermi project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said.

Comic book fans who know the backstory of Hulk, the big, green, angry alter ego of Bruce Banner, whose experiments with gamma rays went terribly wrong, could easily appreciate NASA’s pick in naming one of its constellations.

Gamma rays are the strongest form of light. They pack enough punch to convert into matter under the right circumstances, a transformation both Banner and the Hulk would certainly appreciate.

NASA’s choice of Godzilla constellation is linked to its trademark weapon “heat ray,” a fiery jet. This bears at least a passing resemblance to gamma-ray jets associated with black holes and neutron stars.

Gamma-ray constellation
NASA names new gamma-ray constellations after Godzilla, Hulk

 

Godzilla ranks as one of cinema’s most famous monsters and is among the most recognisable symbols of Japanese popular culture.

In the original 1954 movie, nuclear weapons tests disturb the creature’s deep ocean habitat, and it emerges from the sea to wreak havoc in Japan.

The 21 gamma-ray constellations also include famous landmarks — such as Sweden’s recovered warship, Vasa, the Washington Monument and Mount Fuji in Japan — in countries contributing to Fermi science.

Since 2008, Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT) has been scanning the entire sky each day, mapping and measuring sources of gamma rays, the highest-energy light in the universe.

Also Read: NASA Plans For Science Payloads For Delivery To Moon

The emission may come from pulsars, nova outbursts, the debris of supernova explosions and giant gamma-ray bubbles located in our own galaxy, or supermassive black holes and gamma-ray bursts — the most powerful explosions in the cosmos — in others.

“Fermi is still going strong, and we are now preparing a new all-sky LAT catalog,” said Jean Ballet, a Fermi team member at the French Atomic Energy Commission in Saclay.

“This will add about 2,000 sources, many varying greatly in brightness, further enriching these constellations and enlivening the high-energy sky!” (IANS)

Next Story

The Launch Countdown For DRDO’s Satellite To Start Soon

The Kalamsat is a 10cm cube nano-satellite weighing about 1.2kg. The satellite's life span is about two months and its cost is about Rs 12 lakh

0
Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA

The countdown for the flight Thursday night of an Indian rocket carrying the Microsat R imaging satellite of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Kalamsat student satellite will begin later on Wednesday, an Indian space agency official said.

“The countdown for the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket launch will start today (Wednesday).

“The countdown duration and its starting time, the time of rocket launch would be announced later,” an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS.

The rocket launch was expected to happen at about 11.40 p.m. on Thursday.

“We will be launching the 700-kg Microsat R and Kalamsat with a new PSLV variant.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid bennu
Satellite To Conduct Biological Experiments In Space, Plans Space Kidz India, VOA

“To reduce weight and increase the mass, an aluminium tank is being used for the first time in the fourth stage,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had told IANS earlier.

He said Kalamsat is a payload developed by students and Chennai-based Space Kidz India.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.

In its normal configuration, the rocket would have six strap-on motors hugging the its first stage. However, the PSLV that would be flying on January 24 with Microsat R and Kalamsat will be a two strap-on motors configuration and is designated as PSLV-DL.

The rocket PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant.

PSLV
Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifts off with two British satellites NovaSAR and S1-4, as seen from Chennai. IANS

About 14 minutes into the flight the rocket would eject Microsat R at an altitude of about 277km. This would start functioning at an altitude of 450km in about the 103th minute after lift-off.

The Kalamsat would be the first to use the rocket’s fourth stage as an orbital platform. The fourth stage would be moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments, ISRO had said.

Also Read: DRDO Develops Ayurvedic Medicine For Vitiligo

“The Kalamsat is a 10cm cube nano-satellite weighing about 1.2kg. The satellite’s life span is about two months and its cost is about Rs 12 lakh,” Srimathy Kesan, Founder-CEO of Space Kidz India, told IANS.

Space Kidz India is working towards promoting art, science and culture for students in India.

According to Kesan, Kalamsat will be the first satellite of Space Kidz India to be in a proper orbit as its earlier satellites were suborbital ones. (IANS)