“I happen to have discovered a direct relation between magnetism and light, also electricity and light, and the field it opens is so large and I think rich.” -Michael Faraday

With the launch of the Fermi satellite in the late 2000s, we began observing the highest energy photons in the Universe — gamma rays — all over the sky, to unprecedented precision. Produced from cosmic ray showers in space when high energy protons run into other, stationary protons, these gamma rays locate point sources from supermassive black holes to supernova remnants to pulsars.

Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, of data from the Fermi LAT collaboration.

Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, of data from the Fermi LAT collaboration.

There is, additionally, a great correlation between the infrared sky and the gamma ray sky, since the great high-energy background scatters off of the diffuse infrared gas, producing gamma rays there as well. But while a great many sources can be correlated with known structures, Fermi reveals at least one unknown, intense behemoth that emits spectacularly in gamma rays.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA, for the WISE collaboration.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA, for the WISE collaboration.

Go find out what my guess is as to its nature!


  1. #1 BlockThis
    January 9, 2016

    Go find out what Forbes is to its nature

  2. #2 Justin
    January 9, 2016

    Hey Ethan, first off I would just like to say thank you for the work you do taking fascinating and mind boggling topics and making them accessible to a layman like myself. I love reading your blog/s and check for new content almost daily. Earlier today I read this article…


    …now when I try to access the teased portions of your articles which are hosted at forbes, I’m not allowed to access the site without turning my adblocker off. I understand that websites make their money and pay their bills with advertising, and for sites that I trust I have no problem turning adblocker off and looking at their banner ads or what have you, however I do not want to expose my devices to known malware just to read an article (no matter how engrossing it may be).

    Is there another site that hosts your full content or is it forbes exclusive now?

  3. #3 b l
    January 9, 2016

    Are you freaking kidding me…Some click bait BS linking to FORBES of all places.

    Click here to find out next which malware forbes will give you!

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    Socorro, NM
    January 10, 2016

    I wanted to read it but Forbes refuses to serve the page, demanding that I turn off the adblocker that I don’t have.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not running Windows here, so they can’t use the usual security backdoors on my system? No clue. But it would be nice to read the article.

  5. #5 HBC
    January 10, 2016

    It’s a problem for Windows users as well. Fortune has hust added this roadblock.

  6. #6 Patrick Sweetman
    New Zealand
    January 11, 2016

    Please stop the whining and learn to configure your ABP properly. Here are the filters that currently work for me:- https://imgur.com/ykReRaV

  7. #7 TonyT
    March 16, 2016

    Patrick, reducing the effectiveness of my Adblocker will never occur. Check out what really is going on with top sites and malware advertising … then you might want to re-think allowing those filters.

New comments have been disabled.