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Physics & Astronomy Colloquium – Spring 2019 – Hui
February 20 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Michelle Hui (NASA MSFC / Huntsville)
Title: Gamma Rays in the Modern Multi-messenger Astronomy Era
Abstract: On August 17, 2017, the joint detection of merging neutron stars in gravitational waves and gamma rays set off a new era of multi-messenger astronomy. GRB 170817A was the first short gamma-ray burst (GRB) unambiguously associated with merging neutron stars and enabled new measurements of the speed of gravity, the Hubble constant, and expanded our understanding of relativistic jets. The Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) is an all-sky monitoring instrument sensitive to energies from 8 keV to 40 MeV. Over the past 10 years of operation, the GBM has detected over 240 gamma-ray bursts per year and provided timely community notices with localization to few-degree accuracy for follow-up observations such as GRB 170817A. In addition to onboard triggers, we also have dedicated search algorithms for weak GRBs in the GBM continuous data to search for coincident gamma-ray and gravitational wave or astrophysical neutrinos event. Galactic transients, solar flares, and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes have also been observed. The GBM is well suited for observing transients and supporting electromagnetic followup in the era of multi-messenger astronomy.
Article about speaker: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/hui_chases_cosmic_rays