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Fraser
2004-Nov-02, 05:34 PM
SUMMARY: In two weeks, NASA's Swift observatory will take to the skies atop a Delta II rocket to scan the Universe looking for the most powerful known explosions. It's believed that gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) happen when a new black hole is born - an event that typically happens once a day in our skies. Swift will be able to locate a GRB within 20 to 75 seconds, and then automatically turn its instruments on the explosion. It will also communicate the coordinates of the event to a network of observatories so they can also study the region and afterglow from the explosion.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

antoniseb
2004-Nov-02, 06:23 PM
I'm looking forward to SWIFT. There's a lot to learn about GRBs. I hope that it can start to shed some light on the nature of the short-duration GRBs.

Concerning the article I wondered about this phrase: three telescopes, which work in tandem . As I thought only two things at a time could work in tandem. Perhaps the writer meant that they work in concert or in unison.

om@umr.edu
2004-Nov-02, 10:52 PM
GRB's are interesting, as are other events that may signal the creation of exotic states of matter.

I couldn't find the cost of this mission.

NASA's Swift observatory may well be worth the investment, but I would encourage NASA to make it a policy to tell the public in advance how much it is spending on each such mission.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Janice
2004-Nov-03, 03:10 AM
:D

Don Alexander
2004-Nov-03, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Nov 2 2004, 06:23 PM
I'm looking forward to SWIFT. There's a lot to learn about GRBs. I hope that it can start to shed some light on the nature of the short-duration GRBs.

Concerning the article I wondered about this phrase: three telescopes, which work in tandem . As I thought only two things at a time could work in tandem. Perhaps the writer meant that they work in concert or in unison.
antoniseb wrote:

> I hope that it can start to shed some light on the nature of the short-duration
> GRBs.

Me too - after all, that will be my doctorate thesis...

And, of course, not one word, why the mission launch has been postponed AGAIN! October 7, November 8, November 11, now November 17...

It's Xeno's paradox.

David Alexander Kann
Thueringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg

om@umr.edu
2004-Nov-03, 02:55 PM
Thanks, David.

I share your interest in GRB's and wish you success in your study of these events.

My unease concerns NASA's allocation of funds to study:

a. The Sun that controls almost everything that happens here on Earth, versus

b. Distant objects and events that have little impact on mankind.

For example, NASA spent $260 million dollar on the recent Genesis Mission to collect Atoms in the Solar Wind and tell us:

1.) What the Sun is made of.

2.) Why Earth is different from other planets.

3.) If planets and the Sun are made of the same stuff.

4.) How the Solar System formed.

Following the unexpected crash landing of this spacecraft, there is an ominous silence about when and where the research data will be made available.

NASA's Swift observatory is welcome news.

The public should be kept informed of the relative costs this and solar studies and when and where we can expect results from the late Genesis Mission.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om