Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Using machine-learning to scan the sky

As RAPTOR makes its rounds across the sky to check on known gamma ray sources and respond to the occasional interesting transient, it has free time every night to photograph blazars.
August 15, 2017
Los Alamos National Laboratory’s robotic thinking telescope system, RAPTOR.

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s robotic thinking telescope system, RAPTOR.

Using machine-learning to scan the sky

by Spencer Johnson

If you watch the night sky for a while, you’ll start to notice changes. Meteors streak by, the International Space Station glides over in silence, an airplane blinks overhead. Among these celestial transients, less noticeable but far more powerful objects called blazars flash on and off, in brilliant gamma-ray outbursts and flashes of visible light that can last for hours, days, or even weeks.

The information from these gamma rays and visible light are key to understanding the underlying causes of these spectacular radiation emissions and the tremendously powerful explosions that produce them.

This story first appeared in Huffington Post.


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