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!
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
First-hand sources about SWIFT:
Why 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.