News about the Swift Satellite

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Stories about research conducted by NASA's Swift satellite, whose science and flight operations of are controlled from Penn State University's Mission Operations Center in State College

Swift telescope detects slowest-spinning neutron star
Swift telescope detects slowest-spinning neutron star 14 September 2016A new record-holder may have been found as the slowest spinning neutron star -- the class of stars with the most powerful magnetic fields in the universe -- thanks to clues first detected by NASA's Swift space observatory, whose science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the University Park campus. Swift's X-Ray Telescope captured a short burst of unusual X-rays on June 22, 2016 coming from the object's location roughly 9,000 light-years from Earth.
Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein's Prediction: Opens New Window on the Universe with Observation of Gravitational Waves from Colliding Black Holes
Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein's Prediction: Opens New Window on the Universe with Observation of  Gravitational Waves from Colliding Black Holes 11 February 2016For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime, called gravitational waves, arriving at Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This observation confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, published in 1916, and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.
Space observatory controlled by Penn State captures its 1,000th gamma-ray burst
Space observatory controlled by Penn State captures its 1,000th gamma-ray burst 11 November 2015One thousand of the most powerful explosions in the universe -- gamma-ray bursts -- now have been detected by NASA's Swift Gamma-ray-Burst Explorer satellite, report scientists at Penn State's Mission Operations Center, which controls the science and flight operations for the satellite.
Black hole caught in the act of ripping apart a star
Black hole caught in the act of ripping apart a star 22 October 2015New details about what happens when a black hole tears apart a star have been gathered by a multi-national astronomy team using a trio of orbiting of orbiting observatories that includes NASA’s Swift Gamma-ray-Burst Explorer. Science and flight operations for Swift are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center at the University Park campus. The astronomers tracked material being blown away from a black hole after it tore a star apart in the center of a galaxy that is about 290 million light years away from Earth. The new observations give scientists an extraordinary opportunity to understand the extreme environment and events around a black hole.
Black hole, quiet since 1989, now caught burping a rare X-ray flare
Black hole, quiet since 1989, now caught burping a rare X-ray flare 30 June 2015A NASA satellite controlled by Penn State University has detected a brief, super-bright, high-energy flare -- an X-ray nova -- erupting from a star system 8,000 light-years away from Earth named V404 Cygni. This system is in the constellation Cygnus and includes a black hole and a star just slightly smaller than the Sun. This black hole has been known to burp up an X-ray nova occasionally, but it had been slumbering since 1989 until the detection by NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer on June 15, just before 2:32 p.m. EDT. About 10 minutes after the detection by Swift, the Japanese " MAXI" experiment (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image) on the International Space Station also picked up the flare.
Inside the most powerful explosions: Discoveries pave the way for next-generation neutrino telescopes
Inside the most powerful explosions: Discoveries pave the way for next-generation neutrino telescopes 10 April 2015New research by an international team that includes Penn State University scientists provides new information about what can happen inside the gigantic bursts of gamma rays that are produced by the catastrophic death of extremely massive stars -- the most powerful explosions in the universe. The research has enabled the scientists to begin solving the mystery of whether these gamma ray bursts are the source of extremely high-energy cosmic rays and neutrinos that bombard Earth as astroparticles from space.
NASA's Swift Satellite Marks 10 Years of Game-changing Astrophysics: Mission Control Is at Penn State
NASA's Swift Satellite Marks 10 Years of Game-changing Astrophysics:  Mission Control Is at Penn State 20 November 2014On the tenth anniversary of its launch, NASA’s Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer -- an orbiting space observatory with major and continuing contributions from Penn State scientists -- is recognized as one of the most versatile astrophysics missions ever flown. It remains the only satellite that can precisely locate gamma-ray bursts -- the universe’s most powerful explosions. It also is the only satellite that can monitor the explosions in space across a broad range of wavelengths using multiple instruments before these powerful bursts fade from view.
Mystery of rare 5-hour space explosion explained with help from US/Russia and US/UK/Italy satellites
Mystery of rare 5-hour space explosion explained with help from US/Russia and US/UK/Italy satellites 17 September 2014Next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, scientists on an international team that includes Penn State University astronomers will present a paper that provides a simple explanation for mysterious ultra-long gamma-ray bursts -- a very rare form of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
Photos of New Comet Approaching a Very Close Encounter with Mars
Photos of New Comet Approaching a Very Close Encounter  with Mars 19 June 2014Photos of a comet racing toward an astonishingly close encounter with Mars are helping scientists to better estimate the comet's size, according to a NASA team that includes Penn State astronomers. The photos were made with a telescope on board NASA's Swift satellite, for which Penn State University controls the science and flight operations from the Mission Operations Center at the University Park campus.
NASA Ranks Swift Satellite Number One
NASA Ranks Swift Satellite Number One 28 May 2014NASA's top ranking among its astronomy satellites, not including the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, has been awarded to the Swift observatory, a project that involves Penn State scientists. Swift carries two telescopes whose lead scientists are Penn State astronomers and a third telescope led by a NASA scientist. Science and flight operations for Swift are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center at the University Park campus.
A New, "Exceptionally Close" Exploding Star
A New, "Exceptionally Close" Exploding Star 24 January 2014An exceptionally close exploding star, discovered on 21 January is the focus of observatories on Earth and in orbit, including the Swift satellite and several other NASA spacecraft. The science and flight operations of the Swift observatory are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center on the University Park campus. The Swift observatory was the first to take a look at this supernova.
X-Ray Factory Revealed in the Center of Our Galaxy
X-Ray Factory Revealed in the Center of Our Galaxy 08 January 2014A seven-year campaign to monitor the center of our galaxy with NASA's Swift spacecraft has more than doubled the number of bright X-ray flares observed from our galaxy's central black hole and has led to the discovery of a rare type of neutron star called a "magnetar." Jamie Kennea, a Penn State astronomer, will present the findings during a press conference on 8 January 2014 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The science and flight operations of the Swift observatory are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center on the University Park campus.
Ultra-Bright Gamma-Ray Burst Shakes Up Theories of Light Production in the Most Powerful Explosions
Ultra-Bright Gamma-Ray Burst Shakes Up Theories of Light Production  in the Most Powerful Explosions 25 November 2013One of the brightest gamma-ray explosions ever seen is the focus of five papers being published this week in the journals Science Express and Astrophysical Journal Letters by research teams that include Penn State Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics David Burrows. Discovered on 27 April 2013, this gamma-ray burst, named GRB 130427A, has been the subject of intense study with advanced space observatories including NASA's Swift X-ray Telescope, for which science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center at the University Park campus.
"Transformer" Star Discovered with X-rays and Radio Waves
"Transformer" Star Discovered with X-rays and Radio Waves 25 September 2013A fleet of orbiting X-ray telescopes that includes NASA's Swift orbiting observatory, which is controlled by Penn State University -- has been used by an international team of scientists in the discovery of a "millisecond pulsar" star with a dual identity. In a feat that has never before been observed, the star readily shifts back and forth between two mutually exclusive styles of pulsed emissions -- one in X-rays, the other in radio waves. The discovery, the scientists say, reveals a long-sought intermediate phase in the life of these powerful objects.
Best Ultraviolet Map of the Nearest Galaxies Now Revealed
Best Ultraviolet Map of the Nearest Galaxies Now Revealed 03 June 2013The most detailed ultraviolet light surveys ever made of the two major galaxies that are closest to our own Milky Way, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, have been created by astronomers at NASA and Penn State University.
Remnants of a Shattered Star Discovered in Milky Way
Remnants of a Shattered Star Discovered in Milky Way 15 March 2013Remnants of an exploded star have been discovered in our Milky Way galaxy by a team of scientists including astronomers at Penn State University. The "supernova remnant" was discovered during an extensive X-ray survey of our galaxy's central regions with NASA's Swift satellite, for which science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center on the University Park campus. A paper describing the team's findings will be published in an upcoming edition of The Astrophysical Journal.
Undergraduate Astronomer Helps the World To See "Invisible" Light from Star Clusters
Undergraduate Astronomer Helps the World To See "Invisible" Light from Star Clusters 29 January 2013Ever since Blair Porterfield attended astronomy camp as a middle-school student, she knew she wanted to become an astronomer. Now, as a Penn State senior majoring in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Porterfield is a member of NASA's Swift satellite team, studying the light emitted by star clusters.
A New Year's Gift from NASA and Penn State
A New Year's Gift from NASA and Penn State 02 January 2013A large new collection of space photos taken at wavelengths that the human eye can not perceive and at wavelengths that do not penetrate Earth's atmosphere has been released as a New Year's gift to the people of Earth by NASA and Penn State University. The images were captured by a telescope on board NASA's Swift satellite, whose science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center in State College, Pennsylvania.
美国航空航天局和宾州州立大学的新年礼物
美国航空航天局和宾州州立大学的新年礼物 02 January 2013组太空图片作为给人们的新年礼物。这组图片捕捉到了大气层外处于肉眼看不见波长长度的光线。NASA的雨燕太空卫星的紫外/可见光望远镜(Ultraviolet/ Optical Telescope, UVOT)拍摄了这些图片。卫星的科学和飞行控制由宾州州立大学在宾夕法尼亚州州学院的任务控制中心操作。这个望远镜是在宾州州立大学和英国的伦敦大学学院的穆勒太空科学实验室(University College – London Mullard Space Science Laboratory)合作下诞生的, 是少有的几个研究被大气层挡在地球外的紫外线的望远镜之一。
New Black Hole Discovered in Our Galaxy
New Black Hole Discovered in Our Galaxy 05 October 2012A tsunami of high-energy X-rays streaming toward Earth from a rare X-ray nova has revealed the presence of a previously unknown black hole located toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. A team of scientists including Penn State astronomers detected the X-ray event with NASA's Swift satellite, whose science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State University from the Mission Operations Center near the University Park campus.

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