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NASA / DOE / LAT COLLABORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / DOE / LAT COLLABORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gamma-ray sky around the blazar PKS B1424-418, inactive phase (left) and active phase (right). A blazar is an active galactic nucleus powered by a supermassive black hole. It emits a jet of ionized matter, travelling at nearly the speed of light, creating gamma rays bursts which can be detected when directed towards Earth. Brighter colours indicate greater numbers of gamma rays. Image created from data from the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on NASA's Fermi satellite. Left: An average of LAT data centred on July 8, 2011, and covering 300 days when the blazar was inactive. Right: An average of 300 active days centred on Feb. 27, 2013, when PKS B1424-418 was the brightest blazar in this part of the sky. The blazar could be the source of a high-energy neutrino named Big Bird.
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