New insights into cosmic phenomena

Posted by ap507 at Dec 16, 2013 11:10 AM |
Swift satellite catches a hundred thousand new cosmic X-ray sources
New insights into cosmic phenomena

An image of the X-ray sky centred on a gamma-ray burst which exploded on the 29th of July 2006.

An international Astronomy team at the University has published a major list of celestial X-ray sources in the Astrophysical Journal.

The result of many years work, this list of over 150,000 high-energy stars and galaxies will be a vital resource for future astronomical studies.

Using the X-ray telescope on board the US/UK/Italian Swift satellite, the team analysed eight years’ worth of data to make the first Swift X-ray Point Source catalogue.

The X-ray camera used in this work was built at the University following a 50-year tradition of providing sensitive equipment for launch into space. The University supports the efficient operation of the camera in flight, and runs a scientific data centre providing Swift results to the world within minutes of the observation.

The NASA Swift satellite was launched in November 2004 to study gamma-ray bursts: hugely powerful stellar explosions which can be seen back to the time when the Universe was only a few percent of its current age.