The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission Italian site U.K. site


Mar 21, 2017

NASA's Swift Mission Maps a Star's 'Death Spiral' into a Black Hole

Some 290 million years ago, a star much like the sun wandered too close to the central black hole of its galaxy. Intense tides tore the star apart, which produced an eruption of optical, ultraviolet and X-ray light that first reached Earth in 2014. Now, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's Swift satellite have mapped out how and where these different wavelengths were produced in the event, named ASASSN-14li, as the shattered star's debris circled the black hole.
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Feb 06, 2017

Neil Gehrels (1952-2017)

Dr. Neil Gehrels, Principal Investigator of the Swift Mission, passed away this morning surrounded by his family. Neil had been battling pancreatic cancer and his health declined rapidly over the past several weeks. Neil was the Chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a honorary fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Neil's work primarily focused on time domain astronomy, including gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, tidal disruption events and gravitational waves.
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Jan 23, 2017

Swift Cycle 13 Results

Swift Cycle 13 Recommended Targets and Proposals have been posted.

Nov 10, 2016

NASA Space Telescopes Pinpoint Elusive Brown Dwarf

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, NASA's Spitzer and Swift space telescopes joined forces to observe a microlensing event, when a distant star brightens due to the gravitational field of at least one foreground cosmic object. This technique is useful for finding low-mass bodies orbiting stars, such as planets. In this case, the observations revealed a brown dwarf.
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Oct 27, 2016

NASA's Swift and Kepler Missions Harvest a Passel of 'Pumpkin' Stars

Astronomers using observations from NASA's Swift and Kepler missions have discovered a batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun. The stars, which spin so fast they've been squashed into pumpkin-like shapes, are thought to be the result of close binary systems where two Sun-like stars merge.
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Oct 11, 2016

Swift Satellite Helps Discover Surprising Sunlike Activity in a Nearby Star

Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, seems nothing like our Sun. It's a small, cool, red dwarf star only one-tenth as massive and one-thousandth as luminous as the Sun. However, new research using data from Swift and other facilities shows that Proxima Centauri is Sunlike in one surprising way: it has a regular cycle of starspots. Astronomers were surprised to detect a stellar activity cycle in Proxima Centauri because its interior is expected to be very different from the Sun's. Such stellar activity could affect the newly discovered Earth-sized planet called Proxima b.
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Oct 4, 2016

Swift Cycle 13 GI Program

NASA received 155 valid proposals, requesting a total observing time of 15.5 Ms and $5.0M in funds for 1,309 targets. Considering PIs and Co-Is, more than 500 individual scientists responded to the Swift Cycle 13 call. The Swift Cycle 13 Peer Review will be held in December to evaluate the merits of submitted proposals. Results will be posted in January 2017.

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