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Fraser
2004-Jul-29, 04:14 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Swift satellite is due to arrive at Florida's Cape Canaveral today, to prepare for its launch in October. Named after the fast-moving bird, Swift will track down the fastest and most powerful known explosions in the Universe: gamma ray bursts. Swift has one instrument to detect bursts in the sky, and then it can swing around two high-resolution telescopes in less than a minute for a closer look. It'll also inform the astronomical community of a blast so that anyone watching the sky can tune in as well and watch the explosion unfold. Swift should help turn up more than 100 bursts a year.

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antoniseb
2004-Jul-29, 05:22 PM
I think that there are several [at least two] different kinds of events leading to Gamma Ray Bursts. Swift is the next step in the process of understanding these events, and may also provide some evidence for various strange phenomena related to energy dependence of the speed of light, extra dimensions, etc.

I'm looking forward to the results.

Eric Vaxxine
2004-Jul-30, 09:46 AM
Gamma Rays are from the earliest(oldest) parts of the universe arn't they?

antoniseb
2004-Jul-30, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by Eric Vaxxine@Jul 30 2004, 09:46 AM
Gamma Rays are from the earliest(oldest) parts of the universe arn't they?
I'm not sure what you mean. The oldest photons we are getting come from about 380,000 years after the big bang, and these are all in the microwave region of the spectrum [radio].

Gamma Ray Bursts are observed from very far away. but it is doubtful that we will see any before about 380,000,000 years after the big bang. As they require the birth and death of stars to happen before we can observe them.

StarLab
2004-Jul-31, 05:58 AM
So, these incredible celestial events can be seen over 100 times a year with the help of this satellite if it is put into orbit correctly? Interesting...this should be a major leap in the field of cosmology, you mark my words.