Dynamic Gamma-ray Sky

This is how the Universe would look if we could see gamma rays. Cosmic fireworks, invisible to our eyes, fill the night sky.

We can get a glimpse of this elusive light show thanks to the Large Area Telescope (LAT), which observes the sky in gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light.

Watch a cosmic gamma-ray fireworks show in this animation using just a year of data from the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Each object’s magenta circle grows as it brightens and shrinks as it dims. The yellow circle represents the Sun following its apparent annual path across the sky. The animation shows a subset of the LAT gamma-ray records now available for more than 1,500 objects in a new, continually updated repository. Over 90% of these sources are a type of galaxy called a blazar, powered by the activity of a supermassive black hole.

Credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center/Daniel Kocevski