GLAST is operational

GLAST in space

GLAST, the space-based gamma-ray observatory from NASA, is now operational and has started collecting data. GLAST will be able to observe much higher energy gamma rays compared to the Swift satellite, which should open a new view to the skies.

While it's a sure thing that GLAST will be observing known things such as gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants, it might even make breakthroughs in physics by observing annihilation of dark matter particles or violations of Lorentz invariance.

The computer graphic for GLAST in orbit is courtesy of NASA.

GLAST launched

GLAST has just been successfully launched into low earth orbit. GLAST is a gamma ray space observatory which you can think of as the Hubble for gamma rays. It should be able to observe a very different universe than what we can see with visible light. Stuff such as active galactic nuclei, thirsty black holes, and large exploding stars are among the things that it should be able to observe. And who knows? It might actually give us a clue on what dark matter is.

The photograph of GLAST at the Naval Research Observatory is from the archives of NASA.