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The Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory

News from 2002

December 23, 2002 - Scientists Catch Their First Elusive "Dark" Gamma-Ray Burst
For the first time, scientists -- racing the clock -- have snapped a photo of an unusual type of gamma-ray-burst event one minute after the explosion. They captured a particularly fast-fading type of "dark" burst, which comprises about half of all gamma-ray bursts.
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October 8, 2002 - Quick, Follow That GRB!
Recently the astronomical community put together a speedy worldwide effort to watch a fading GRB, starting an amazing 9 minutes after the burst alert from the HETE telescope.
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+ Goddard News
UPDATE: This gamma ray burst was featured in a recent NASA Space Science Update which features a discussion of the "collapsar" model of black hole birth as a likely candidate forGRB progenitor.
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+ Goddard News
September 9, 2002 - Spacecraft Delivery
The Swift spacecraft is delivered to GSFC
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March 13, 2002 - NASA Gamma-Ray Burst Satellite Team Assembles World's Largest Telescope Mask
The team behind the NASA gamma-ray burst satellite called Swift has completed construction of a massive "coded aperture mask", the largest such device ever built, marking another milestone on its path to a 2003 launch.
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January 8, 2002 - Newly Discovered Subclass of "Local" Gamma Ray Bursts May Solve a Mystery or Two
Although scientists have believed for some time that most gamma-ray bursts are very distant, a Goddard scientist has discovered 100 of them that are quite "local", within 325 million light years from Earth.
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