Can I get involved in gamma-ray astronomy?

We take a look to see if amateur astronomers are able to dabble in other wavelengths

Gamma-ray bursts release incredible amounts of energy

Gamma-ray bursts release incredible amounts of energy

Asked by Luis Priest

The problem with gamma rays is that they are absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere. This is lucky for us in the sense of protecting us from dangerous high-energy radiation, but a problem for astronomers who want to look for gamma-ray sources emitted from high-energy objects such as supernova and gamma-ray pulsars.

As a result, gamma-ray telescopes are launched into space, beyond the atmospheric shield and so hands-on gamma-ray astronomy is difficult to do outside of a research department. However, if you would like to participate in a citizen science project, like the volunteers who helped find new young gamma-ray pulsars, you can take part in the Einstein@ Home project and give some of your computing power over to real astronomy research. 

Answered by Sophie Allen at the National Space Centre

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