The FERMI mission (formerly GLAST) is part of the NASA programme on the study of the structure and evolution of the Universe and the DOE (USA) research programme on fundamental physics without accelerators. Furthermore, the mission is supported by physics and astrophysics programmes in several partner countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Sweden.

The FERMI observatory is made up of two instruments, the Large Area Telescope (LAT) and the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), which will map the cosmos with an energy ranging from 10 keV to hundreds of GeV; so far, such high energy values were never reached. The LAT instrument is under the responsibility of the USA (P.I. Peter Michelson, University of Stanford), with the participation of Italy, France, Sweden and Japan.

GLAST’s scientific goals can be summarized in the following points: understanding the acceleration mechanism of particles in active galactic nuclei (AGN), pulsars and supernovae (SNR), which is key to solve the mystery of jet formation and the dynamics of shocks in supernova remnants; mapping the sky in the gamma-ray radiation component: unidentified sources and diffuse interstellar emission from the Milky Way; determining the high-energy behaviour of GRBs and other transient phenomena. Variability is the main characteristic of the gamma-ray sky; studying the nature of dark matter and researching possible decays of exotic particles in the primordial Universe and WIMPS annihilation processes in the halo of the Milky Way.

The important Italian contribution, which falls under the responsibility of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) is related to the design and manufacture of the LAT tracker (funded also by the ASI), the management, distribution and analysis of the mission data through the ASI SSDC centre and its use by the Italian community (coordinated also by the INAF) which, traditionally, is one of the most active communities in the field of high-energy astrophysics.

‣ News


Italy, France and Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the ‘SPACEFOUNDERS’ European program ‣

The Italian Space Agency (ASI), the French Space Agency (CNES) and the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich (UniBW) are committed to cooperating for ”SpaceFounders”, the European New Space accelerator launched in 2021 by CNES with UniBw MORE...

FRIDAY 12 MAY 2023

The fjords of Greenland observed by PRISMA ‣

The images shown on this page are elaborations of the visible and infrared bands of an acquisition over Greenland in May 2021 MORE...


The desertification of the Aral Sea ‣

This composition is obtained by processing a PRISMA image acquired in January 2021 on the Aral Sea area MORE...


JUICE is en route to unveil Jupiter’s secrets and Italy is onboard ‣

The European space science mission JUICE successfully launched into space.  State-of-the-art instruments developed and funded by the Italian Space Agency are featured aboard the probe. The Italian Agency has coordinated the participation in Juice of several entities, enterprises, and other national space agencies MORE...


Rivers in the tropical forest observed by PRISMA ‣

Iguazu Falls area observed by the Italian satellite MORE...