Latest Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission Stories

2009-01-06 14:20:00

GREENBELT, Md., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers combining data from NASA's Swift satellite, the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and other facilities have, for the first time, identified gas molecules in the host galaxy of a gamma-ray burst. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The explosion, designated GRB 080607, occurred in June. "This burst gave us the opportunity to 'taste' the star-forming gas in a young galaxy more than 11 billion...

2008-09-19 17:02:55

An explosion originating near the edge of the universe has been seen by an orbiting NASA telescope. The burst of gamma rays is the farthest such event ever detected. The blast, designated GRB 080913, arose from an exploding star 12.8 billion light-years away. It was detected by the Swift satellite and announced today. "This is the most amazing burst Swift has seen," said the mission's lead scientist Neil Gehrels of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "It's coming to us from near...

2008-09-19 19:59:12

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Swift satellite has found the most distant gamma-ray burst ever detected. The blast, designated GRB 080913, arose from an exploding star 12.8 billion light-years away. "This is the most amazing burst Swift has seen," said the mission's lead scientist Neil Gehrels at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "It's coming to us from near the edge of the visible universe." Because light moves at finite speed, looking farther into the universe means looking back...

2008-09-11 13:55:00

Astronomers from around the world combined data from ground- and space-based telescopes to paint a detailed portrait of the brightest explosion ever seen. The observations reveal that the jets of the gamma-ray burst called GRB 080319B were aimed almost directly at the Earth. GRB 080319B was so intense that, despite happening halfway across the Universe, it could have been seen briefly with the unaided eye (ESO 08/08). In a paper to appear in the 11 September issue of Nature, Judith Racusin...

2008-09-10 13:30:00

Data from satellites and observatories around the globe show a jet from a powerful stellar explosion witnessed March 19 was aimed almost directly at Earth. NASA's Swift satellite detected the explosion - formally named GRB 080319B - at 2:13 a.m. EDT that morning and pinpointed its position in the constellation Bootes. The event, called a gamma-ray burst, became bright enough for human eyes to see. Observations of the event are giving astronomers the most detailed portrait of a burst ever...

2008-07-24 16:10:00

A European-led team of astronomers are providing hints that a recent supernova may not be as normal as initially thought. Instead, the star that exploded is now understood to have collapsed into a black hole, producing a weak jet, typical of much more violent events, the so-called gamma-ray bursts. The object, SN 2008D, is thus probably among the weakest explosions that produce very fast moving jets. This discovery represents a crucial milestone in the understanding of the most violent...

2008-05-21 12:50:00

Thanks to a fortunate observation with NASA's Swift satellite, astronomers, for the first time, have caught a normal supernova at the moment of its birth--the first instant when an exploding star begins spewing its energy into space, transforming into a supernova that during its brief lifetime will shine brighter than billions of stars combined. Until this discovery, the only supernovae glimpsed during their first moments were the more rare kind--the ones whose birth cries are drowned out by...

2008-03-20 15:00:00

A powerful stellar explosion detected March 19 by NASA's Swift satellite has shattered the record for the most distant object that could be seen with the naked eye. The explosion was a gamma ray burst. Most gamma ray bursts occur when massive stars run out of nuclear fuel. Their cores collapse to form black holes or neutron stars, releasing an intense burst of high-energy gamma rays and ejecting particle jets that rip through space at nearly the speed of light like turbocharged cosmic...

2008-02-16 14:18:21

UK space scientist Emeritus Professor Alan Wells is to speak at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston in February on: International Cooperation in Developing Swift and its Scientific Achievements. Professor Wells' presentation will be on Saturday 16th February at around 11.00 a.m. as part of a symposium entitled: Worldwide Hunt to Solve the Mystery of Gamma-Ray Bursts. In it, he will discuss the breadth of international collaborations, including the...

2008-01-09 13:30:00

Oldest known short gamma ray burst occurred halfway back to Big Bang Using the powerful one-two combo of NASA's Swift satellite and the Gemini Observatory, astronomers from a number of institutions, including Johns Hopkins, have detected a mysterious type of cosmic explosion farther back in time than ever before. The explosion, known as a short gamma-ray burst (GRB), took place 7.4 billion years ago, more than halfway back to the Big Bang. "This discovery dramatically moves back the time at...

Word of the Day
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'