The Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory

News from 2004

December 24, 2004 - GRB041219: Swift-BAT Light Curves in 4 bands
The INTEGRAL-Swift Burst of 041219 (GCN 2866, Gotz et al, GCN 2874, Barthelmy et al.) had a time history that is rather rare: a precursor was followed by 200 sec of mostly quiet emission before a huge spiky outburst that lasted an additional 300 sec. This is one of the few events for which there have been simultaneous ground observations.
+ Read More.
December 17, 2004 - GRB041217: The First GRB Located On-Board Swift!
On Dec 17 2004, 7:28:30 UT, the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) triggered and located on-board an apparent gamma-ray burst. The spacecraft did not autonomously slew to the burst since automated slewing is not yet enabled.
+ Read More
December 01, 2004 - Swift Software, Calibration Files, and Documentation Available
The first public version of the Swift software has been released by the HEASARC (Swift 1.0). This release includes the tools run in the Swift analysis pipeline to generate the Swift data products. Interested users can install the software either from source code or binaries. A collection of flight-like test data will be made available shortly so users can familiarize themselves with the software before Swift data become public.
+ Read More
November 22, 2004 - NASA Succesfully Launches Swift Satellite
NASA's Swift satellite was successfully launched Saturday from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The satellite will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes.
+ Read More
November 20, 2004 - NASA Launches Cosmic Blast Hunter
BBC News article on the Swift launch and mission.
+ Read More
November 18, 2004 - NASA Delays Swift Launch
NASA has set the launch of the Swift spacecraft for no earlier than Saturday. The one-hour launch window opens at 12:10 p.m. EST.
+ Read More
November 17, 2004 - NASA Delays Swift Launch
Launch of NASA's Swift spacecraft has been delayed at least 24 hours due to a concern with Range Command-Receiver Decoder equipment on the launch vehicle.
+ Read More
November 9, 2004 - Last Gasp of a Dying Star? Spacecraft to Find Out
New York Times article about Swift. They ask that you register in order to view articles, but registration is free.
+ Read More
November 8, 2004 - NASA Schedules Swift Spacecraft Launch
NASA's Swift observatory is scheduled for launch Wednesday, Nov. 17. Liftoff aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket is targeted at 12:09 p.m., EST, the opening of a one-hour launch window. Liftoff is from Pad 17-A on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Fla. If postponed the next launch opportunity is 12:09 p.m. EST, Nov. 18.
+ Read More
November 2, 2004 - Swift Press Kit
Press representatives may obtain the Swift press kit here. (PDF file)
+ Download It
November 1, 2004 - New NASA Satellite To Study Black Hole Birth And Gamma Ray Bursts
By the end of this day, somewhere in the visible universe a new black hole will have formed. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the most distant and powerful explosions known, are likely the birth cries of these new black holes.
+ Read More
October 25, 2004 - Media Briefing On NASA's Newest Gamma-Ray Burst Mission Scheduled
NASA's Swift satellite, which will pinpoint the location of gamma-ray burst explosions in the Universe, will be the subject of a news briefing Monday, Nov. 1, at 1 p.m. EST. The briefing will originate from the James Webb auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington, and will be broadcast live on NASA TV.
+ Read More
September 29, 2004 - Swift Missions Pages Added to the NASA Website
The NASA website just recently added several Swift Mission pages to its website.
+ Visit the Site
August 19, 2004 - Quest for the Virtually Invisible
Guardian Unlimited article about Swift.
+ Guardian Article
August 19, 2004 - Swift Education & Public Info Pages Moved
The Education & Public Info section of the Swift website has been moved to Sonoma State University, which leads our EPO efforts. Please update your bookmarks.
+ Visit the Site
August 12, 2004 - Swift Workshop to be held at the HEAD Meeting
There will be a 1-day workshop on GRB observations and science related to the Swift mission on Tuesday, September 7, the day before the HEAD meeting.
+ Read the Announcement
August 8, 2004 - Photos of Swift at the Kennedy Space Center
The Swift spacecraft arrives at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for launch.
+ View the Pictures
July 29, 2004 - Swift Satellite to Catch Mysterious Bursts from Deep in the Cosmos
The Swift satellite, which will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes, arrived at Kennedy Space Center today in preparation for an October launch.
+ Read More
June 02, 2004 - Smoking Gun Found for Gamma-Ray Burst in Milky Way
Combined data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and infrared observations with the Palomar 200-inch telescope have uncovered evidence that a gamma-ray burst, one of nature's most catastrophic explosions, occurred in our Galaxy a few thousand years ago. The supernova remnant, W49B, may also be the first remnant of a gamma-ray burst discovered in the Milky Way. W49B is a barrel-shaped nebula located about 35,000 light years from Earth. The new data reveal bright infrared rings, like hoops around a barrel, and intense X-radiation from iron and nickel along the axis of the barrel.
+ Read More
+ Chandra Release
March 19, 2004 - New Pictures of the BAT on the Swift Spacecraft
The Burst Alert Telescope has been integrated onto the Swift spacecraft. The spacecraft is currently going through intensive testing to insure it is fully prepared for launch (currently scheduled for October 2004).
+ View the Pictures
February 19, 2004 - Swift Cycle 1 Review Complete
The Swift SC and NASA Peer Review Services have recently completed the Swift Cycle 1 proposal review. A slate of 35 excellent gamma-ray-burst and afterglow projects were selected for support during Swift's first year of operations. Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in the Swift mission through submitting proposals to this program. The proposed science was exciting, timely and thought-provoking.