PerspectiveCosmology

Clues from gamma rays on the history of star birth

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Science  30 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 995-996
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav7344

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Summary

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which celebrates its 10th year of operation, measures high-energy γ-ray emission, usually produced when cosmic rays (high-speed electrons or protons) interact with ordinary matter or radiation. Over the past 2 years, the Fermi–Large Area Telescope (LAT) Collaboration has contributed substantially to the birth of “multimessenger” astronomy, a revolutionary approach to study the high-energy Universe that combines the use of four messengers: photons, neutrinos, gravitational waves, and cosmic rays (1, 2). On page 1031 of this issue, the collaboration (3) reports another milestone of the Fermi-LAT team—consolidating the use of γ rays for measuring the rate of star formation over the history of the Universe.