Latest Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission Stories
Intense research over the last decade has shown that long gamma-ray bursts are the death throes of massive stars in distant, young, and vigorously star forming galaxies. The origin of the short gamma-ray bursts, however, has been shrouded in mystery until now.
An international team of astronomers led by Danish astronomer Jens Hjorth  has for the first time observed the visible light from a short gamma-ray burst (GRB). Using the 1.5m Danish telescope at La Silla (Chile), they showed that these short, intense bursts of gamma-ray emission most likely originate from the violent collision of two merging neutron stars. The same team has also used ESO's Very Large Telescope to constrain the birthplace of the first ever short burst whose position could...
Telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii recorded the most distant cosmic explosion ever seen, probably caused by the collapse of a massive dying star, according to University of Hawaii astronomers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Astronomers said on Monday they have detected a cosmic explosion at the very edge of the visible universe, a 13-billion-year-old blast that could help them learn more about the earliest stars.
NASA's Swift satellite and ground-based telescopes have discovered the most distant exploding star on record, confirming a 1999 prediction made by University of Chicago astrophysicist Don Lamb and Daniel Reichart, who was then a graduate student at Chicago.
An Italian team of astronomers has observed the afterglow of a Gamma-Ray Burst that is the farthest known ever. With a measured redshift of 6.3, the light from this very remote astronomical source has taken 12,700 million years to reach us. It is thus seen when the Universe was less than 900 million years old, or less than 7 percent its present age.
Observations by two of the world's largest telescopes provide strong evidence that a peculiar type of exploding star may be the origin of elusive gamma-ray bursts that have puzzled scientists for more than 30 years. The new observations, though not a smoking gun, provide a major piece of evidence that this new theory is correct.
Astronomers announced that they have penetrated the heart of the universe's most powerful explosion -- a gamma-ray burst (GRB) -- using the PAIRITEL (Peters Automated Infrared Imaging Telescope) robotic telescope on Mt. Hopkins, Arizona.
The NASA-led Swift mission has measured the distance to two gamma-ray bursts -- back to back, from opposite parts of the sky -- and both were from over nine billion light years away, unleashed billions of years before the Sun and Earth formed.
The Swift satellite's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) has seen first light, capturing an image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, long loved by amateur astronomers as the "perfect" face-on spiral galaxy. The UVOT now remains poised to observe its first gamma-ray burst.
- To swell, as grain or wood with water.