Astronomy: November 2012 Archives

Space telescope to get software fix, Nature

"Long-standing but little-publicized software problems, and insufficient memory in one of the detectors, have clouded the vision of the world's leading -ray telescope to the highest-energy -rays. The flaws do not seriously threaten the satellite's observations at low energies. But they have hampered studies at energies greater than 10 billion electronvolts (GeV), which could yield clues to dark matter and the powerful stellar explosions known as -ray bursts, says particle physicist Bill Atwood at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a member of the Fermi team who helped to design the craft's instruments."

Doubt cast on Fermi's dark matter smoking gun, New Scientist

"The team first had to reprocess their data from the galactic centre to account for a glitch caused by a damaged instrument on the telescope. That revealed that the signal had shifted from 130 to 135 GeV, Albert told the Fourth International Fermi Symposium in Monterey, California, on 2 November. What's more, that signal had faded to statistical insignificance. "The feature's gotten a little smaller," she says. "It hasn't gone away completely, but we do not see it to be very significant. At this point, we have to cast doubt on this being a dark matter line."

Fermi Observations of Dwarf Galaxies Provide New Insights on Dark Matter

"Scientists working with data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have looked for signals from some of these hypothetical particles by zeroing in on 10 small, faint galaxies that orbit our own. Although no signals have been detected, a novel analysis technique applied to two years of data from the observatory's Large Area Telescope (LAT) has essentially eliminated these particle candidates for the first time."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronomy category from November 2012.

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