HEAD High Energy Astrophysics Division

HEADNEWS: THE ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER OF THE HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS DIVISION OF THE AAS




Newsletter No. 98, June 2011

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11. Fermi Mission News - Julie McEnery (GSFC), Chris Shrader (GSFC), Dave Thompson (GSFC), Liz Hays (GSFC) & Lynn Cominsky (Sonoma State)

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is operating nominally.

Science highlights:

  • We've been surprised to discover the Crab Nebula is not a stable X-ray and gamma-ray reference source. The LAT has observed several episodes of intense flaring activity. The GBM observes month-scale flux variations at hard X-ray energies. (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/crab-flare.html)

  • Furious work continues to finalize the second LAT source catalog and GBM GRB catalog for release in early Summer.

Data and Software Releases

Revised LAT instrument response functions (IRFs) including corrections to the PSF have been delivered to the FSSC by the LAT Team. The IRFs and the software to accommodate them underwent testing at the FSSC for a May 2011 release. Significant updates to the LAT dataset are forthcoming in June/July, incorporating improved background rejection and event quality selections providing improved performance at low energy. Improved Galactic emission models will be released concurrently.

Fermi Guest Investigator Program

Over 200 proposals to the Fermi Cycle-4 Guest Investigator program were received. The proposals were evaluated by scientific peer-review in April. The list of over 80 accepted proposals can be found here (http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/proposals/cycle4/AcceptedPrograms.pdf)

Fermi E/PO News

New posters featuring the Fermi LAT 2-year gamma-ray sky and selected discoveries are now available. If you would like one mailed to you, please contact lynnc@universe.sonoma.edu.

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