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Fermi LAT data analysis: Hands on session

⚠️Please download the files before the tutorial
We ask the participants of the school to download all required files for this lesson beforehand. The required files involve >2GB of downloads. This will overload the wifi network at the school if everybody downloads at the same time.
You will not be able to follow the activity without downloading the files


Welcome to the Fermi LAT hands-on tutorial on the analysis of gamma-ray observations. Here, we will learn how to analyze gamma-ray observations for the following targets:

  1. Dark matter: we will analyze the photons coming from the direction of a dwarf galaxy, do a simple estimate of the dark matter cross section and reproduce the analysis described in Ackermann et al. (2015).
  2. Blazar: we will analyze photons emitted by the blazar TXS 0506+056—the first astrophysical source from which a gamma-ray flare was detected coinciding with a high-energy neutrino. We will create a SED and a light curve for this source in the period close to the neutrino detection, reproducing some of the analysis described in The IceCube Collaboration et al. 2018 (Science, arXiv).

This activity has a total duration of about 4 hours and is organized as follows:

  1. Download and install required software and data files before the lesson starts
  2. Presentation: Overview of the Fermi Gamma-ray Telescope (slides)
  3. To follow the tutorial, first launch the analysis environment
  4. Hands-on activity 1: Estimating dark matter cross section from Fermi LAT observations
  5. Hands-on activity 2: The gamma-ray spectrum and light curve of a blazar

Authors / contact

This lesson was developed by the following members of the Black Hole Group at Universidade de Sao Paulo:

If you want to show your gratitude, you can get us a beer after the lesson is done. :)


The Fermi LAT Collaboration—particularly Matt Wood and Jeremy Perkins—for developing FermiPy, some Jupyter notebooks which served as inspiration for this activity and for creating the extremely convenient Docker image.