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NASA Fermi telescope space data adds all the starlight in the universe

NASA's Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope provides data used to measure all of the starlight of our universe that produces more than 90 percent of its history, space agencies have revealed. Scientists working on the project looked at gamma ray output from distant galaxies, using it to estimate the level of star formation. This is the first time that researchers have measured all of the starlight produced from the history of the universe observed.

The study comes from Clemson University College of Science, where astrophysicist Marco Ajello and postdoctoral researcher Vaidehi Paliya worked with colleagues to analyze data from the Fermi telescope. This work looks at the history of star formation which covers 90 percent of the history of the universe, finding that 4 × 10 ^ 84 particles of visible light emitted by stars, producing starlight.

When talking about research, Ajello said:

From the data collected by the Fermi telescope, we can measure all the amount of starlight that has been emitted. This has never been done before. Most of this light is emitted by the stars that live in the galaxy. Thus, this has enabled us to better understand the process of star evolution and gain captivating insight into how the universe produces luminous content.

Despite the large number of photons, the Earth still gets most of its light from the Sun because of the vast size of the universe. The starlight reaching the Earth from outside our galaxy is as dim as 60 watts of light seen from more than two miles away, leaving us with a dark night sky and bright little stars visible in the distance.

NASA explained in the video above how Fermi works and why the data can help researchers analyze world starlight. In addition to milestone research, this study also independently confirms estimates of past star formation, according to the space agency, which is based on deep galaxy survey missions.

These findings will help improve future research into stellar evolution.

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