Washington: NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space telescope has detected 1,873 new objects shining with the highest-energy form of light in the universe.
The Fermi team released its second catalogue of sources detected by the satellite’s Large Area Telescope (LAT) earlier this year.
“More than half of these sources are active galaxies, whose massive black holes are responsible for the gamma-ray emissions that the LAT detects,” said Gino Tosti, an astrophysicist at the University of Perugia in Italy and currently a visiting scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif.
“What is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of our new catalogue is the large number of sources not associated with objects detected at any other wavelength,” he noted.
Astronomers delight in the possibility of finding new types of gamma-ray-emitting objects within the “unassociated sources” that constitute roughly a third of the catalogue.
But Fermi’s LAT is revealing gamma rays from an increasing, and sometimes surprising variety of astronomical objects.
The finding was presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society`s High Energy Astrophysics Division in Newport, R.I.