Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gamma-Ray Telescope Launched

Today (June 11, 2008) at 9:05 AM PDT , the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) was launched aboard a Delta II 7920-H rocket. GLAST is a joint venture of NASA, the United States Department of Energy, and government agencies in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.

GLAST's main instrument is the Large Area Telescope (LAT) which will make an all-sky survey of astrophysical and cosmological phenomena such as active galactic nuclei, pulsars, dark matter, and other high-energy sources. A second instrument, the GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM), will be used to study gamma ray bursts.

GLAST will orbit at an altitude of about 345 miles. By comparison, the International Space Station orbits at an altitude that varies between a minimum of 173 miles to a maximum of 286 miles.

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