Swift

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.

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