The SWIFT Project


Versione Italiana



Swift Selections 

SWIFT - Public Outreach and Information

Welcome to the SWIFT Information site. In these pages, you shall find historical, scientific and practical informations about the build-up works in progress for the launch of the SWIFT satellite (foreseen for Oct. 7, 2004) for the discovery, detection and study of Gamma Ray Bursts. This satellite is financed by NASA with the collaboration of a certain number of US and European Institutes. We shall try and keep up to date with the major US web pages, since we kindly received permission to reproduce images and report news. Therefore, stay tuned

Swift Bits

Between the time of the discovery of bursts in the late 1960's, and the launch of the BATSE experiment in 1991, most astronomers were convinceed that bursts originated in our own Galaxy, on near objects called neutron stars. These objects are as massive as the Sun, but no bigger than about 10 kilometres in diameter. Their tremendous gravitational field and magnetic field made them an ideal source for the gamma-ray burst. 


First-hand sources about SWIFT:  



On October 14, 1999, NASA approved the SWIFT mission, concerning a satellite born from the collaboration between the United States, Great Britain and Italy for the detection of Gamma-Ray Bursts. SWIFT will be a multi-wavelength observatory, which will be launched on Oct,7, 2004. The name "SWIFT" is not an acronym. It is actually the name of a bird, which is well-known for its in-flight acrobatics and preying.  




Feedback on this page: Giuliana Giobbi, 
Credits and thanks for info and images: Prof. Lynn Cominsky,  

Last updated: Aug. 18, 2004