The Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory


Dec 28, 2012

An Image Gallery Gift from NASA's Swift

Of the three telescopes carried by NASA's Swift satellite, only one captures cosmic light at energies similar to those seen by the human eye. Although small by the standards of ground-based observatories, Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) plays a critical role in rapidly pinpointing the locations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the brightest explosions in the cosmos.
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Dec 18, 2012

Swift Cycle 9 Results

Swift Cycle 9 Accepted Targets and Proposals Have Been Posted
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Dec 13, 2012

Study Reveals a Remarkable Symmetry in Black Hole Jets

Black holes range from modest objects formed when individual stars end their lives to behemoths billions of times more massive that rule the centers of galaxies. A new study using data from NASA's Swift satellite and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope shows that high-speed jets launched from active black holes possess fundamental similarities regardless of mass, age or environment. The result provides a tantalizing hint that common physical processes are at work.
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Dec 12, 2012

Astronomers Catch Jet from Binge-Eating Black Hole

Back in January, a new X-ray source flared and rapidly brightened in the Andromeda galaxy (M31), located 2.5 million light-years away. Classified as an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX), the object is only the second ever seen in M31 and became the target of an intense observing campaign by orbiting X-ray telescopes - including NASA's Swift - and radio observatories on the ground. These efforts resulted in the first detection of radio-emitting jets from a stellar-mass black hole outside our own galaxy.
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Oct 12, 2012

X-ray Satellites Monitor the Clashing Winds of a Colossal Binary

The hottest and most massive stars don't live long enough to disperse throughout the galaxy. Instead, they can be found near the clouds of gas and dust where they formed - and where they will explode as supernovae after a few million years. They huddle in tight clusters with other young stars or in looser groupings called OB associations, a name reflecting their impressive populations of rare O- and B-type stars.
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Oct 5, 2012

NASA's Swift Satellite Discovers a New Black Hole in our Galaxy

NASA's Swift satellite recently detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from a source toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The outburst, produced by a rare X-ray nova, announced the presence of a previously unknown stellar-mass black hole.
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Oct 5, 2012

Swift Cycle 9 GI Program

NASA received 158 proposals (slightly up from last year), requesting a total observing time of 13.2 Ms and $4.3M in funds for 866 targets. The Swift Cycle 9 Peer Review will be held in December to evaluate the merits of submitted proposals and choose those that are recommended for funding and observing time.

Aug 10, 2012

Swift Cycle 9: Proposals Due September 26, 2012

Details on the Swift Cycle 9 Guest Investigator Program are now available.
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Jun 28, 2012

Hubble, Swift Detect First-Ever Changes in an Exoplanet Atmosphere

An international team of astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made an unparalleled observation, detecting significant changes in the atmosphere of a planet located beyond our solar system.
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Apr 13, 2012

NASA's Swift Monitors Departing Comet Garradd

An outbound comet that provided a nice show for skywatchers late last year is the target of an ongoing investigation by NASA's Swift satellite. Formally designated C/2009 P1 (Garradd), the unusually dust-rich comet provides a novel opportunity to characterize how cometary activity changes at ever greater distance from the sun.
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Mar 27, 2012

Neil Gehrels is the Recipient of COSPAR's 2012 Massey Award

The award "recognizes the outstanding contributions to the development of space research, interpreted in the widest sense, in which a leadership role is of particular importance.

Mar 20, 2012

NASA's Swift Narrows Down Origin of Important Supernova Class

Studies using X-ray and ultraviolet observations from NASA's Swift satellite provide new insights into the elusive origins of an important class of exploding star called Type Ia supernovae.
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Feb 24, 2012

Andromeda Galaxy Pops Up Ultraluminous X-ray Sources

Researchers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton Observatory have been studying an object known as an ultraluminous X-ray source -- ULX, for short -- in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (M31). Scientists have long debated the nature of these super-bright X-ray sources, and Chandra's 2009 discovery of a nearby ULX in Andromeda sparked intense interest.
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