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News from 2009

Dec 9, 2009 - Magnetic Power Revealed in Gamma-Ray Burst Jet
A specialized camera on a telescope operated by U.K. astronomers from Liverpool has made the first measurement of magnetic fields in the afterglow of a gamma-ray burst (GRB). The result is reported in the Dec.10 issue of Nature magazine by the team of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) astronomers who built and operate the telescope and its unique scientific camera, named RINGO.
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Dec 3, 2009 - New Release of the Swift Software and Calibration Data is Available for Download.
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November 10, 2009 - Swift XMM-Newton Satellites Tune Into a Middleweight Black Hole
While astronomers have studied lightweight and heavyweight black holes for decades, the evidence for black holes with intermediate masses has been much harder to come by. Now, astronomers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., find that an X-ray source in galaxy NGC 5408 represents one of the best cases for a middleweight black hole to date.
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September 16, 2009 - Swift Makes Best-ever Ultraviolet Portrait of Andromeda Galaxy
In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift satellite has acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own.
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July 27, 2009 - Swift Cycle 6: Proposals Due September 30, 2009
Details on the Swift Cycle 6 Guest Investigator Program are now available.
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Jun 8, 2009 - Keck Study Sheds New Light on 'Dark' Gamma-ray Bursts
Gamma-ray bursts are the universe's biggest explosions, capable of producing so much light that ground-based telescopes easily detect it billions of light-years away. Yet, for more than a decade, astronomers have puzzled over the nature of so-called dark bursts, which produce gamma rays and X-rays but little or no visible light. They make up roughly half of the bursts detected by NASA's Swift satellite since its 2004 launch.
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June 3, 2009 - New Release of the Swift Software and Calibration Data is Available for Download.
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Apr 28, 2009 - New Gamma-ray Burst Smashes Cosmic Distance Record
NASA's Swift satellite and an international team of astronomers have found a gamma-ray burst from a star that died when the universe was only 630 million years old, or less than five percent of its present age. The event, dubbed GRB 090423, is the most distant cosmic explosion ever seen.
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April 7, 2009 - New Release of the Swift Software and Calibration Data is Available for Download.
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April 3, 2009 - Swift's Comet Tally Highlighted in Observatory Webcast
A montage of comet images made using NASA's Swift spacecraft illustrates just how different three comets can be. The images, including a never-released image of Comet 8P/Tuttle, were shown today during a live, 24-hour video webcast called "Around the World in 80 Telescopes." Organized by the European Southern Observatory headquartered in Garching, Germany, the webcast is part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy project, a worldwide celebration of astronomy running through April 5.
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February 20, 2009 - NASA's Swift Spies Comet Lulin
While waiting for high-energy outbursts and cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Explorer satellite is monitoring Comet Lulin as it closes on Earth. For the first time, astronomers are seeing simultaneous ultraviolet and X-ray images of a comet.
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February 10, 2009 - NASA'S Swift, Fermi Probe Fireworks from a Flaring Gamma-ray Star
Astronomers using NASA's Swift satellite and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope are seeing frequent blasts from a stellar remnant 30,000 light-years away. The high-energy fireworks arise from a rare type of neutron star known as a soft-gamma-ray repeater. Such objects unpredictably send out a series of X-ray and gamma-ray flares.
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January 13, 2009 - New Release of the Swift Software and Calibration Data is Available for Download.
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