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Births, deaths and collisions: Swift’s telescope snaps one millionth UV image

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22 August 2018
On the left is an image of the nearby galaxy NGC 3623 taken with UV. On the right is an optical image. The galaxies spiral arms — where new stars are being born — stand out in the ultraviolet wavelengths emitted by these hot objects. Image: NASA/Swift/L.McCauley, Penn State, CC BY-ND
On the left is an image of the nearby galaxy NGC 3623 taken with UV. On the right is an optical image. The galaxies spiral arms — where new stars are being born — stand out in the ultraviolet wavelengths emitted by these hot objects. Image: NASA/Swift/L.McCauley, Penn State, CC BY-ND

The Ultraviolet Optical Telescope (UVOT) aboard the NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory captured its millionth image on May 13. Swift's science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center at the University Park campus. Penn State and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who along with an international partner collaborate to manage the Swift mission, teamed up to release a few items to celebrate the one millionth image snapped in UV.

Michael Siegel, research professor of astronomy and astrophysics, Penn State, penned an article for The Conversation about the data gathered with the UVOT that astrophysicists use to gain insights into everything from the origins of the universe to the chemical composition of nearby comets. Read The Conversation piece here.

A mosaic, created using images UVOT has taken since Swift launched in 2004, celebrates this major milestone for the mission. For more information on this image visit NASA's website.

Mosaic of the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory.

Image caption: This mosaic of the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory is created from images of astronomical objects captured by the satellite’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope which recently captured its millionth image. Each tile is 52 x 39 pixels, and at maximum resolution, the entire mosaic is 5,291 x 3,779 pixels per side. Image: NASA/Swift/Mosaic created with AndreaMosaic.

 

[ Joslyn Neiderer ]

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Joslyn Neiderer, jms1140@psu.edu

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