Today I visited the UK Swift Science Data Centre, at the University of Leicester, to learn how to analyse data from the Swift gamma-ray satellite. This satellite observes the universe at gamma-ray, x-ray and ultra violet energies and has three instruments: the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), the X-ray Telescope (XRT) and the UltraViolet-Optical Telescope (UVOT).

Cassiopeia A in X-ray
The supernova remnant Cassiopeia A seen by the XRT instrument on Swift CREDIT: Swift/NASA
It was a very challenging day for me as I attempted to understand a whole new set of jargon and techniques that I am not used to. It was fun and I met some really interesting astronomers in the process.

The excellent folks that were training us spend a lot of their time on call and have to drop everything if the BAT detects a gamma-ray burst (GRB). It seems that they have been especially busy this week as they have had six GRBs to deal including two on the same day.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 14th Jan 2006 (01:13 UTC) | Permalink
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