NASA Swift Satellite News

The NASA Swift Satellite, officially named the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, is a space-based observatory launched in November 2004. It is dedicated to studying gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the most energetic and luminous events in the universe, which occur when massive stars collapse or when neutron stars or black holes merge. Swift’s multi-wavelength approach allows it to capture data across gamma-ray, X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical spectra, providing comprehensive observations of GRBs and their afterglows. The observatory quickly and autonomously swivels to observe gamma-ray bursts within seconds of detection by its Burst Alert Telescope, then continues detailed observations with its other onboard instruments, the X-Ray Telescope (XRT) and the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT). This capacity for rapid response and broad spectral coverage has made Swift crucial for advancing our understanding of the origins and mechanics of gamma-ray bursts and their implications for cosmology.