An Artists impression of Swift, Credit: Spectrum Astro
The NASA Swift satellite, which will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes, is due to arrive at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida today in preparation for an October launch. UK scientists, from the University of Leicester and University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, have provided key technology for two of the instruments on Swift.
Professor Alan Wells from the University of Leicester, UK Lead Investigator for the X-ray Telescope onboard Swift, is eagerly awaiting the launch and the start of the mission to track these enigmatic flashes called gamma-ray bursts.
“Swift is an awe-inspiring mission – tracking down what are the fastest and most powerful events in the Universe. UK scientists have lead roles in two of the three instruments – the X-ray telescope and the UV/Optical telescope which both use new technologies that we have developed in our laboratories. These telescopes will provide unique information on these bursts to help us unravel what is going on in these amazing cosmological events.”
Gill Ormrod | alfa
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