HEADNEWS: THE ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER OF THE
HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS DIVISION OF THE AAS
Newsletter No. 83, November 2003
- Notes from the Editor - Matthew Baring
- HEAD in the News - Ilana Harrus, Christopher Wanjek and Megan Watzke
- News from NASA Headquarters - Paul Hertz
- RHESSI Mission News - David Smith
- Swift Mission News - Richard Todaro, Christopher Wanjek and Phil Plait
- GLAST Mission News - Phil Plait and Christopher Wanjek
- XMM-Newton Mission News - Ilana Harrus and Phil Plait
- RXTE News - Padi Boyd, et al.
- Chandra X-ray Observatory Operations Report - Roger Brissenden
- HETE Mission News - George Ricker
- INTEGRAL Mission News - Chris Winkler
- Meeting Announcements:
- Young Neutron Stars and Supernova Remnants (during 18-25 July 2004, Paris, France)
- High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (26-30 July 2004, Heidelberg, Germany)
- Gamma-Ray Bursts (during 18-25 July 2004, Paris, France)
- X-ray and Radio Connections Workshop (3-6 February, 2004, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)
from the Editor - Matthew Baring, HEAD Secretary-Treasurer,
HEAD only delivers the table-of-contents for HEADNEWS into your mailbox.
The newsletter itself can be found online at
The next HEAD Division meeting is to be held in New Orleans,
Louisiana from Wednesday September 8, 2004 through Saturday, September
11, 2004. The meeting will be held at the historic Hotel Monteleone in
the French Quarter. In keeping with traditional HEAD meetings, a broad
spectrum of high energy astrophysics will be encompassed by the main
sessions. The conference logistics will be handled by Eureka
Scientific, with information available on line in due course at
http://www.eurekasci.com/. We anticipate a mailing of the First
Announcement later in the Fall; updates will be posted on the HEAD web
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2. HEAD in the News (May 2003 - October 2003) -
Ilana Harrus, HEAD Press Officer,
Christopher Wanjek, Structure and Evolution of the Universe
Senior Science Writer, and Megan Watzke, Chandra Press Officer
"I am greatly relieved that the universe is finally explainable. I
was beginning to think it was me." Astronomy made it to the New Yorker!
A piece written by no other than Woody Allen (July 28 issue). To read
the complete piece, you'll have to buy the magazine or borrow it from a
friend (the article is not available on line.)
There were many other (and more serious) articles and coverage linked to
high energy astrophysics. The articles covered results by most of the
high-energy astrophysical missions: Chandra, XMM-Newton, RXTE, HETE II,
Integral (ESA is issuing several press releases in the late Fall to
support the special A&A edition of Integral results.) With so many
articles, it is almost inevitable that the list of highlights below will
be incomplete. Please let us know if your favorite result is not listed
(email message to Ilana
Harrus, HEAD Press Officer, with the subject line: HEAD IN THE
Various Items in the News:
September 9, 2003: Chandra "Hears" A Black Hole:
The biggest story of this semester by far was the Space Science
Update about "sound waves" detected, from the first time, from a
super-massive black hole. The NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory
detected sound waves, for the first time, from a black hole in the
Perseus cluster, located 250 million light years from Earth. The
"note" is the deepest ever detected from an object in the universe.
The tremendous amounts of energy carried by these sound waves may
solve a longstanding problem in astrophysics.
The result published in the September issue of the Monthly Notices of
the Royal Astronomical Society made the headline news of national and
international press. It was on CNN headlines news and about 30 local
US TV stations, as well as National Public Radio. The press coverage
was also extensive. The news was reported by the major wires services
(Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International, Agence France
Press) and picked up by major newspapers in the US (among them, The
New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Herald, The Boston
Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The
Dallas Morning News, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Denver Post, and
several smaller publications) and outside the US (The International
Herald Tribune, The Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, The Times (London),
Herald Sun (Melbourne), Sydney Morning Herald, Hindustan Times, New
Zealand Herald) and too many websites (in the US and in countries
covering all continents) to name them all.
September 9 - 12, 2003: Los Alamos Meeting on Gamma-Ray Bursts:
The September meeting produced a moderate amount of news, namely
concerning HETE results about the origin of X-ray flashes and dark
bursts and the possibility of a Gamma-ray burst causing past
extinction on earth. Coverage ranged from newspapers (such as San
Francisco Chronicle, Newsday) to magazines (such as New Scientist,
Sky & Telescope, Astronomy).
September 5, 2003: Cannonball Pulsar Imaged Flying Through Space:
Astronomers, using the XMM-Newton observatory, captured an image of a
pulsar flying through space at 20 times the speed of sound, with radiant
twin tails of X-ray light stretching nearly two billion miles from this
tiny, dense sphere only about 12 miles across. The object, Geminga, in
the constellation of Gemini, is the closest known pulsar to Earth, about
500 light years away. This first clear image of a pulsar's X-ray bow
shock was featured in a Science magazine cover story on September 5.
Dr. Patrizia Caraveo of the Instituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica
Cosmica (IASF-CNR) in Milan, Italy was the lead author on the Science
report. The XMM-Newton Geminga image ran on the top of USA Today's
"Lifestyle" section and was featured in several magazine articles.
August 12, 2003: Discovery of the GRB030725 afterglow by
an amateur astronomer:
Armed with a 12-inch telescope, a computer, and a NASA email alert,
Berto Monard of South Africa became the first amateur astronomer to
discover an afterglow of a gamma-ray burst, the most powerful explosion
known in the Universe. This 40-second-long burst was detected by NASA's
High-Energy Transient Explorer (HETE) on July 25. This story was
extensively covered by magazines and newspapers.
July 15, 2003: Icebound Antarctic Telescope Delivers
First Neutrino Sky Map:
A novel telescope that uses the Antarctic ice sheet as its window to
the cosmos produced the first map of the high-energy neutrino sky.
The map was unveiled for astronomers at a meeting of the
International Astronomical Union providing astronomers with a first
tantalizing glimpse of very high-energy neutrinos.
The result earned a considerable about of press. Coverage included
the New York Times, AP, and the BBC.
July 2, 2003: Einstein's Gravitational Waves may set speed
limit for pulsar spin:
Using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, scientists have found a
limit to how fast a pulsar spins and speculate that the cause is
gravitational radiation: The faster a pulsar spins, the more
gravitational radiation it might release, as its exquisite spherical
shape becomes slightly deformed. This may restrain the pulsar's
rotation and save it from obliteration.
Prof. Deepto Chakrabarty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) in Cambridge was the lead author of the article, published in
the July 3 issue of the journal Nature.
This result garnered coverage by AP, Reuters, L.A. Times, and a
multitude of web sites, such as CNN, BBC and MSNBC.
June 18, 2003: Cosmological Gamma-Ray Bursts and Hypernovae
A very bright burst of gamma-rays observed on March 29, 2003 by
NASA's High Energy Transient Explorer (HETE-II) was conclusively
linked to an "hypernova". This is caused by the explosion of a very
heavy star, presumably over 25 times heavier than the Sun. The
gamma-ray burst was designated GRB 030329, according to the date and
will pass into the annals of astrophysics as a rare "type-defining
event", providing conclusive evidence of a direct link between
cosmological gamma-ray bursts and explosions of very massive stars.
The detailed report appears in the June 19 issue of the research
The result received wide coverage in the press, including a New York
Times article with a beautiful image of a Gamma-ray burst simulation
by Zhang and Woosley.
We also note the following:
- New York Times (November 11, 2003) - Celebrated 25th anniversary issue of the Tuesday Science Section with 25 key questions in science. 3 of them had links to HEA research.
- NOVA/PBS (October 28 - November 4, 2003) - broadcast a three-part series on string theory, based on Brian Green's Elegant Universe.
- Astronomy Magazine (October 12, 2003) - Story by Jeremy McGovern on the inauguration of MAGIC, a ground-based gamma-ray telescope. "Gamma-ray Astronomers Will Use MAGIC"
- New York Times (Oct 10, 2003) - devoted two articles to the coverage of the Cosmology meeting at Case Western University.
- Newsday (September 23, 2003) - "Scientists study ancient Gamma-ray", an AP reported article on Swift.
- Sky & Telescope (August 2003) - Feature article by Chris Wanjek, SEU senior science writer, about the future of gamma-ray astronomy.
- L.A. Times (August 12, 2003) - "A Whole Other Cosmos", an article by K.C. Cole highlighting the proposed missions in the NASA's Beyond Einstein roadmap.
- Scientific American (July 2003) - Kim Weaver of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center had a feature article on the starburst/AGN connection.
Partial List of Links for HEAD Press Coverage/Images:
We'd like to be as complete as possible, so if you know of any HEAD
related press release not mentioned here, please let
HEAD Press Officer know.
November 17, 2003:
November 12, 2003:
November 10, 2003:
November 5, 2003:
November 4, 2003:
October 30, 2003:
October 22, 2003:
October 17, 2003:
October 15, 2003:
September 17, 2003:
September 16, 2003:
September 15, 2003:
September 12, 2003:
September 11, 2003:
September 10, 2003:
September 9, 2003:
September 5, 2003:
September 3, 2003:
August 14, 2003:
August 13, 2003:
August 12, 2003:
August 4, 2003:
July 30, 2003:
July 21, 2003:
July 15, 2003:
July 14, 2003:
July 9, 2003:
July 2, 2003:
June 30, 2003:
June 19, 2003:
June 18, 2003:
June 11, 2003:
June 8, 2003:
May 28, 2003:
May 27, 2003:
May 21, 2003:
May 20, 2003:
May 8, 2003:
In addition, there are several Chandra Image Releases:
October 28, 2003:
Object: NGC 1637
October 14, 2003:
October 1, 2003:
September 3, 2003:
Objects: NGC 4438 & NGC 4435
August 14, 2003:
Object: M17 (Horseshoe Nebula)
July 9, 2003:
Object: NGC 1068
May 26, 2006:
Object: SNR 0103-72.6
Objects: TW Hydrae and HD 98800A
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3. News from NASA Headquarters -
Paul Hertz, NASA Headquarters.
The 2004 Beyond Einstein initiative contains funding for LISA and
Constellation-X, two future flagship observatories for NASA. It also
contains funding later in the decade for Einstein Probes, three modest
missions that will investigate dark energy, black holes, and the Big
Bang. As of this writing (November 14), the Beyond Einstein initiative
is waiting for approval by Congress as part of NASA's FY2004 budget.
NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE) have both identified the nature
of dark energy as high priority for investigation. Both agencies
believe that a space mission is required to make the precision
measurements necessary to advance our understanding. NASA and DOE have
therefore decided to work together on a Joint Dark Energy Mission
(JDEM). The current concept is that NASA and DOE would jointly solicit
the dark energy science investigation including the science payload,
NASA and DOE would jointly be responsible for the science investigation
and the operation of the mission, and that NASA would take
responsibility for the overall development of the spacecraft and the
launch. In the near future, NASA and DOE will jointly establish a
science definition team to set the science requirements for the mission.
It is important to note that funding for JDEM is in neither the NASA
nor the DOE budget, and that a budget augmentation would be required to
make this mission a reality.
Last February, NASA solicited proposals for mission concept studies for
the Einstein Probes. NASA has selected 10 proposals for funding. The
selected PI teams will be undertaking 2 year mission concept studies.
These studies will help NASA (and DOE and NSF) establish appropriate
plans for realizing the Einstein Probes as missions. Eventually the
abstracts for selected proposals will be posted on the Office of Space
Science research opportunities web page at
Research and Analysis (Grants)
Selections have been made, and the PI's have been notified, for this
year's proposals submitted to NASA's research program including the high
energy astrophysics element of the Astronomy and Physics Research and
Analysis (APRA) Program. Eventually the abstracts for selected
proposals will be posted on the Office of Space Science research
opportunities web page at http://research.hq.nasa.gov/code_s/code_s.cfm.
The 2004 edition of Research Opportunities in Space Science (ROSS-04)
will be released in late January. This NASA Research Announcement (NRA)
will contain over 30 program elements. Elements of interest to HEAD
members include Astronomy and Physics Research and Analysis (APRA -
includes high energy astrophysics), Astrophysics Data Program (ADP),
Long Term Space Astrophysics (LTSA), Astrophysics Theory Program (ATP),
Beyond Einstein Foundation Science (BEFS), and Guest Investigator
programs for RXTE (Cycle 10), FUSE (Cycle 6), and Swift (Cycle 1). Due
dates have not been finalized, but APRA will probably be in April,
ADP/LTSA will probably be in July, ATP/BEFS will probably be in August,
and the GI programs will be in September or later. You must check the
ROSS-04 when it is released for the actual due dates.
On November 4, NASA announced the selection of 5 Small Explorer (SMEX)
proposals and one Long Duration Balloon (LDB) proposal to conduct Phase
A mission concept studies. These proposals were selected from among 36
proposals received in May in response to the most recent Announcement of
Opportunity (AO) from the Explorer program. Following the evaluation of
concept study reports, NASA expects to select 2 of the SMEX missions for
flight. The LDB mission may or may not be selected for flight.
Downselection is expected by November 2004. More information on all of
the selected missions is at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/codesr/smex/.
Three of the selected missions are directly relevant to high energy
- - DUO: Dark Universe Observatory (Richard E. Griffiths,
Carnegie Mellon University) -- Seven X-ray telescopes that would measure
the dark matter and dark energy that dominate the content of the
- - NuSTAR: The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (Fiona
Anne Harrison, California Institute of Technology) -- A focusing, hard
X-ray telescope that would study nuclear emission from AGN's and
- - ANITA: Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna
(Peter W. Gorham, University of Hawaii) -- A long duration balloon
experiment that would detect radio frequency signals emitted when high
energy neutrinos interact in the Antarctic ice shelf.
NASA expects to release an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for
Medium-class Explorer (MIDEX) missions next year. The target date for
release of a draft AO is December 2003 or January 2004, and the target
date for release of the AO is May 2004. Proposals will be due 90 days
after the AO is released.
The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) was successfully launched
on August 25, 2003. It is currently undergoing science verification
tests, with normal science operations expected to begin by early
December 2003. Progress updates on the SIRTF activities may be found at
the SIRTF web site (http://sirtf.caltech.edu/SSC/). Cycle 1 proposals
for observing time and/or archival research are due February 14, 2004
Cycle 13 Hubble proposals are due on January 23, 2004
Cycle 6 Chandra proposals are expected to be due in March 2004
The next astrophysics mission to be launched is Gravity Probe B.
GPB's December 2003 launch has been postponed for several months due to
technical problems with electronics boxes. GPB's 4 gyroscopes will
directly measure two predictions of Einstein's theory of general
relativity: the curvature of space-time due to the Earth's presence and
the dragging of space-time due to the Earth's rotation. Updates on
GPB's progress toward launch may be found at
The High Energy Transient Explorer 2 (HETE-2) mission has been extended
through the end of summer 2004. HETE-2's mission was scheduled to end
in January 2004, which would have overlapped with the Swift GRB Explorer
mission if it had launched in September 2003. Since Swift's launch has
been delayed until late spring 2004, the HETE-2 project proposed a
mission extension. Following a peer review of the proposal, NASA has
granted this extension.
The European Space Agency (ESA) recently announced that they were
extending the INTEGRAL mission. INTEGRAL has been approved to operate
through December 2008.
NASA will be conducting its next Senior Review of all operating missions
and astrophysics data archives in April 2004. The results of this
review will be used to establish NASA's priorities for mission
operations and data analysis. These priorities will inform budget
decisions for allocating funding to operating missions and data
archives. In particular, this is the process through which NASA decides
when to cease operations for missions that have completed their prime
mission and are operating in extended missions. NASA missions in that
category, whose future will be determined in the Senior Review, include
RXTE, FUSE, WMAP, and HETE-2. The review will also include NASA
missions that are proposing to begin extended missions in the next two
years, such as GALEX, CHIPS, and Swift, and NASA's astrophysics data
archives, such as HEASARC, IRSA, MAST, LAMBDA, NED and ADS. The results
of recent Senior Reviews may be found at
The NASA Astronomy and Physics Division is served by five committee
groups. These are the Astronomy and Physics Working Group (APWG) that
considers the astronomy and physics research and analysis program, the
Science Archives Working Group (SAWG) that considers the astronomy and
physics science archives and data analysis program, the Structure and
Evolution of the Universe Subcommittee (SEUS) that considers the SEU
theme program, the Origins Subcommittee (OS) that considers the Origins
theme program, and the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee
(AAC) that advises NASA and NSF on astronomy and astrophysics programs.
You are encouraged to provide your input on improving NASA's programs by
contacting members of the community who serve on these groups.
Information can be found at:
http://spacescience.nasa.gov/admin/divisions/sz/index.htm (APWG and
SAWG), http://spacescience.nasa.gov/adv/sscacsubcomm.htm (SEUS and OS),
and http://www.aas.org/aaac/ (AAAC).
Who's Who at NASA Headquarters
All of your favorite high energy astrophysics projects are managed
within the Astronomy and Physics Division (APD) of the Office of Space
Science at NASA Headquarters. Edward Weiler is the Associate
Administrator for Space Science, and Anne Kinney is the Director of the
Astronomy and Physics Division. Within APD,
is the Program Scientist for Astro-E2, Con-X, RXTE, Swift and XMM-Newton,
is the Program Scientist for Chandra, GLAST, HETE-2, and INTEGRAL,
is the Science Program Executive for the data archives including HEASARC, and
is the Program Scientist for Beyond Einstein
and the Structure and Evolution of the Universe Theme. A complete list
of personnel and assignments can be found at
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4. RHESSI Mission News - David M. Smith, U. C. Santa Cruz
The Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI)
approaches its 10,000th orbit in good condition. It was approved for
an extended mission, beginning at the end of its primary mission next
Spring, by the Senior Review of missions in NASA's Sun-Earth
Connection theme. A description of the mission and instrument can be
found in the May 2002 issue of this Newsletter.
The special issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters on RHESSI
observations of the gamma-ray flare of July 23, 2002 appeared on
October 1, 2003. One result from this flare, by G. J. Hurford et
al. (ApJL 595, L77), earned particular notice, including a "Search and
Discovery" feature in the September issue of Physics Today. They
found that the 2.2 MeV line from neutron capture, a tracer of ion
interactions, appeared at a significant offset (about 20") with
respect to the position of electron interactions (bremsstrahlung) from
the same flare. This implies either that the electrons and ions are
accelerated in different locations or that they propagate very
differently through the corona before encountering the denser regions
of the chromosphere or photosphere where they interact.
RHESSI contributions were prominent in the meeting of the Solar Physics
Division of the AAS in June and in the ACE/RHESSI/Wind workshop held
in Taos, NM in October.
Our patience since last July has been rewarded by the large
active region that crossed the Sun in the last week of October
and the first week of November. It produced at least
three major flares showing gamma-ray lines in RHESSI data. Analysis of
these events is just gearing up, and that active region is
due to return to the near side of the Sun within a day or so
of the time of this writing. RHESSI's sample of smaller flares
and microflares continues to grow daily, of course.
Nonsolar studies with RHESSI continue, including analyses of
lines from Galactic radionuclei and polarization studies
of gamma-ray bursts. All RHESSI data are public, and the community
is encouraged to participate in RHESSI data analysis. For a listing
of solar projects under way, see the Max Millenium website at:
To discuss the use of RHESSI for non-solar projects, please contact
David Smith: dsmith (at) scipp.ucsc.edu. Information on RHESSI
data access and analysis can be found at the RHESSI data center:
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5. Swift Mission News - Richard Todaro, Christopher Wanjek (NASA/GSFC) and Phil Plait (Sonoma State University)
With its launch date of mid-May 2004 still on track, the Swift mission
continues to progress on both technical and scientific front, including
instrument development, planning for research and science analysis,
establishment of guidelines for guest investigator proposals, and
arranging data archiving. In the past six months, developments have
Holding a Swift science team meeting in late October at the Goddard
Space Flight Center that brought together scientists from Italy, Japan,
and Great Britain and that "focused on science analysis, gamma-ray burst
operations, as well as instrument status," according to Swift mission
Principal Investigator Dr. Neil Gehrels.
Overcoming some difficulties with integration and testing of the Burst
Alert Telescope (BAT). Gehrels said the other two instruments to fly
aboard Swift -- the X-ray Telescope (XRT) and UV/Optical Telescope
(UVOT) -- have been integrated onto the spacecraft and are undergoing
preliminary environmental testing.
Holding additional meetings on issues related to the implementation of
the "burst advocates" plan that is a unique hallmark of the Swift
mission, according to Dr. Ann Parsons, who is in charge of the BAT
detector. Parsons said the Swift team decided to start out with a small
group of scientists as "guinea pigs" of the burst advocate plan, whereby
one scientist will be given responsibility for the issues surrounding a
particular burst. Parsons said the point of this was to find out what
sort of analysis tools and user manuals the burst advocates will need.
Development of policy guidelines for ROSS 03 Swift guest investigator
proposals. Dr. Patricia Boyd, the lead scientist for the Swift Science
Center at Goddard, said that three types of funding proposals have been
created. These include (1) any new projects using Swift data; (2)
follow-up observations at various wavelengths; and (3) theoretical work,
all of which must involve gamma-ray bursts. The ROSS 03 AO-1 Swift
proposals are due Dec. 1, 2003.
Preparation of Swift software that is to run in the "processing
pipeline" and which will be released shortly before launch. Dr. Boyd
said that Swift data will begin entering the HEASARC Swift archive 4-1/2
months after the mission is launched. Dr. Gehrels added that the Swift
team will make GRB information available even during the first 4-1/2
months via Gamma-ray burst Coordinates Network (GCN) notices. The
HEASARC Swift archive will include all data levels, calibration
information, software, and accompanying documentation. Dr. Boyd said
additional information is available at
Swift E/PO News
The NASA Education and Public Outreach Group at Sonoma State University
is busily preparing E/PO materials for the Swift launch.
The biggest news is the addition of three new Swift Educator Ambassadors
(EAs). The EAs are a group of top-notch educators who help develop,
test, and disseminate teacher resource materials. After a nationwide
application process, the new Swift EAs chosen are David Beier from
Kansas City, Missouri, Bruce Hemp, from Fort Defiance, Virginia, and Dr.
Tom Arnold, from State College, Pennsylvania. They join veterans Rae
McEntyre and Rob Sparks to bring the total number of Swift EAs to five.
Ms. Hemp and Dr. Arnold were originally members of the Swift Education
Committee (SwEC), but it was decided that the master teachers on the
SwEC would add more to Swift's outreach efforts by becoming EAs. Since
May, the two original EAs have presented Swift materials at seven
different educational conferences, with over 300 teachers participating
The combined Swift/GLAST booth appeared at three national education and
scientific conferences since May 2003. For the entire fiscal year 2003,
Swift was represented at 15 presentations to students and the public,
and at 26 teacher workshops, for a total of more than 3900 participants.
During that same year, more than 30,000 Swift materials were
distributed, with nearly 11,000 ordered directly through the Swift E/PO
website. On top of that, 40,000 posters were distributed via the
National Science Teachers Association "Science Teacher," and "Science
Scope" magazines which featured an activity from the Swift GEMS Guide
called "The Invisible Universe: From Radio Waves to Gamma Rays".
"What's in the News?" a news program for middle school students, aired a
15 minute segment about the environment of space, featuring preparations
made by the Swift team to ready the spacecraft for launch. Swift E/PO
team member Dr. Phil Plait was also featured discussing what must be
done to protect spacecraft, as well as encouraging young people to
explore a career in science. The program is viewed by over 5 million
students yearly, and is available online at
Other Swift materials created include a "mini-plot", which are post-it
notes mounted on an illustration of Swift (the illustration will be used
as a poster accompanying a Swift educator guide to be released next
year), Swift t-shirts to be available by launch, and a spacecraft poster
designed by SpectrumAstro. The Swift mission was also mentioned in an
article written by Phil Plait about gamma-ray astronomy for StarDate
Progress has been steady on the new Gamma-ray Burst Educator's Unit. The
first activity "Sorting out the Cosmic Zoo" was the subject of a
workshop at the California Science Teacher's Association annual meeting.
Featuring a set of 20 cards that must be sorted into categories using
astronomical information and lightcurves of different bursts, the
activity is also well-suited for introductory college astronomy
students. To download the cardset and background information, go to
SSU Professor and E/PO program director Lynn Cominsky gave an invited
focus talk at the California Science Teacher's Association meeting that
featured Swift, GLAST and NASA's Beyond Einstein initiative missions.
Entitled "Things My Mother Never Told Me About the Universe," the talk
explored concepts of mass and energy from Newton to Einstein and beyond.
For more information, please visit http://swift.sonoma.edu.
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6. GLAST Mission News - Phil Plait (Sonoma State) and Christopher Wanjek (NASA/GSFC)
The GLAST Large Area Telescope team (LAT) and the Science Working Group
(SWG) both met in Rome in mid-September.
At the LAT International Collaboration Meeting, attendees discussed
GLAST mission status, results of recent instrument and software testing,
challenges facing data collection, and activity reports from Italy,
Sweden, Germany and France. Meeting presentations are available at
http://glast.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/lat/sept03/. The LAT team and the
GLAST Science Support Center have created a basic system for storing and
extracting GLAST data, for conducting likelihood analyses, and for
producing gamma-ray burst spectra. The Science Support Center also has
science tools in place and is now defining file formats and determining
how various ground system stations can best coordinate. A decision has
been made to perform telemetry through TDRSS.
The SWG discussed science from ground-based TeV observatories, such as
Milagro and HEGRA, the status of AGILE, cosmic-ray propagation, recent
X-ray and gamma-ray observations of supernovae, and other potential
GLAST targets. Presentations are available at
http://glast.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/swg/sept03/. A GLAST users committee
has already been formed and met for the first time at GSFC in October.
GLAST E/PO News:
Five new Educator Ambassadors (EAs) have been chosen for the GLAST
mission (see the Swift E/PO news for more about the EA project). The new
EAs are Jeff Adkins, of Antioch, California; Deanna Duncan, of Concord,
North Carolina; Walter Glogowski, of Norridge, Illinois, Ellen Holmes,
of Bangor, Maine; and Pamela Whiffen, of Phoenix, Arizona. We have also
added former SEUEF EA Mary Garrett to the GLAST cohort, replacing Jason
Smith who is leaving the program for personal reasons. This brings the
total number of GLAST EAs to ten. Since May, 2003, the EAs have
presented GLAST materials at 19 conferences, with a total of 1300
teachers, 5300 students, and 3850 members of the public participating.
In the fiscal year 2003, the GLAST booth (combined with the Swift booth)
appeared at seven conferences, and approximately 5000 GLAST materials
were handed out.
The new GLAST Active Galaxies Educator Guide has been demonstrated at
several workshops, and is enjoying a warm reception by science and math
teachers across the country. A draft of the second installment in the
TOPS Learning Systems education units (based on GLAST science and math)
is currently undergoing testing and editing by the SSU GLAST E/PO group.
GLAST is sponsoring the development of two new Space Mysteries;
interactive web-based inquiry-driven activities that put the student in
the middle of a mystery they must solve using math and science. The
first will have the student investigate whether or not the Milky Way is
becoming an active galaxy. In the second, students will play the role of
a space scientist trying to put together a space science mission. They
will face many simulated obstacles based on those endured by real
mission team members on the way to launching and using a space-based
New GLAST giveaways developed include Magic cubes, which feature 6 small
and 3 large images representative of the GLAST mission science; "mini
plots", which are post-it notes mounted on an illustration of the GLAST
satellite; and a new GLAST design for stickers and patches.
The SSU Robotic Telescope System (RTS), part of the GLAST Telescope
Network, will be moved to a new dark observing site in 2004. Located in
northern Sonoma County, California, the Pepperwood Natural Preserve is
an excellent location for observing GLAST targets. Progress has been
made on the site; the foundation has been poured, the dome has been
delivered, and the first parts have been installed next to the existing
Hume observatory, which is owned by the California Academy of Sciences.
For more information, please visit http://glast.sonoma.edu.
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7. XMM-Newton Mission News - Ilana Harrus, XMM Press Officer (NASA/GSFC), and Phil Plait
In December, XMM-Newton will celebrate its fourth anniversary in space.
With more than 350 refereed articles published since its launch, the
ESA/NASA mission keeps playing a major role in X-ray astronomy.
Instruments status -- Calibration All instruments are performing well. A
new release of the analysis software (SAS) is planed for early next
year. A workshop on modeling EPIC backgrounds in the context of
analyzing observations of extended sources and the diffuse background
was held in Milan in early October. Presentations from the meeting can
be found at: http://www.mi.iasf.cnr.it/~silvano/wks_pres/.
Results of the last AO There were 692 proposals submitted in response to
the AO3 which closed on April 30 (the slightly higher number published
in the previous newsletter was due to proposals submitted more than
once). About 1500 scientists (from more than 35 countries) participated
in this cycle as PIs or Co-Is. The over-subscription was larger than
7.5. There were 9 "Large proposals", a category offered for the first
time. After review by more than 70 scientists, the results for the OTAC
were announced in a record time (less than 2 months after the proposal
submission deadline). There were a total of 695 observations accepted
(there can be more than one observations per proposal). The list of all
observations accepted is available at:
at the US mirror site:
Senior Review coming up In the next half a year, the NASA portion of the
XMM-Newton project will be participating in the biannual Senior Review
process. This critical review will determine the level of support that
NASA will provide over the FY05 and FY06 period, including the level of
Guest Observer funding. The XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility at the
Goddard Space Flight Center is in charge to compile, among other things,
the list of scientific investigations and discoveries made by the
XMM-Newton observatory. We are asking inputs from the community for
making this list as complete as possible. This is the time to advertise
your recent results and demonstrate the need for the continued support
of the mission. Please send an e-mail to email@example.com
informing us of your results and where they were presented/published.
We'll do the rest for you!
XMM-Newton E/PO News:
Work has begun in earnest with Project CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory
Experiences in Astronomy;
create an interactive computer lab exercise, in which students will
analyze X-ray spectra of the Cas A supernova remnant. Entitled "Dying
Stars and the Birth of the Elements," the activity simulates x-ray
spectra with different elemental abundances for different positions on
the CasA image. A first-cut version of the exercise has been put
together to test the feasibility of the process, and preliminary results
are very encouraging. The exercise is scheduled to be ready in 2004.
XMM-Newton is co-sponsoring with GLAST a poster and series of activities
based on high-energy observations of supernova remnants (SNRs). Students
will investigate the physical characteristics of SNRs, beaming from
pulsars, and the origin of heavy elements. This work is currently in the
XMM-Newton now has its own Educator Ambassadors. Formerly supported by
the Structure and Evolution of the Universe Education Forum, EAs Tom
Estill (Chabot Space and Science Center) and Dr. Christine Royce
(Shippensburg University) now join XMM-Newton to help us develop, test
and disseminate educational activities based on the science of x-ray
The XMM-Newton web site is continually being upgraded after its move to
SSU earlier this year. If you have suggestions for additions to the
image gallery, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit http://xmm.sonoma.edu.
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8. Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer News -
Padi Boyd, Keith Jahoda, Craig Markwardt, Gail Rohrbach, Evan Smith,
Tod Strohmayer, and Jean Swank, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The workhorse that is the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) will soon
begin its 9th observing cycle and continues to be very productive.
Instrument operations remain stable, and exciting science results
continue to be generated both from new observations as well as from the
extensive public archive. Demand for RXTE observations continues to run
high, judging by the healthy mix of experienced RXTE users and newcomers
who submitted proposals for observing cycle 9 (see below for more
details on the recent cycle 9 proposal review). RXTE is well-known in
the high energy community for its flexible scheduling, and demand for
this continues unabated, with continued multi-wavelength efforts, as
well as coordinated observing with the imaging and high spectral
resolution capabilities of Chandra and XMM/Newton. In addition, guest
observers are now asking for more coordinated time with INTEGRAL and
The meeting "X-ray Timing 2003: Rossi and Beyond" was recently held in
Cambridge, MA, with the dual purposes of surveying the recent RXTE
results and discussing the need for future timing capabilities. A
summary of some recent RXTE science results follows.
RXTE results were the focus of a NASA Space Science Update on July 2,
2003. Deepto Chakrabarty (MIT) and his collaborators discussed the
RXTE observations of the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX
J1808.4-3658. Using the observed distribution of neutron star spin
frequencies as measured from the frequency distribution of burst
oscillation sources, they derived an upper limit to the spin frequency
of neutron stars. The derived rate, about 760 Hz, is significantly
less than the break-up rotation rate for most neutron star equations
of state, and suggests that some physical process limits the spin up
of accreting neutron stars. One intriguing idea is that gravitational
radiation, emitted as the neutron star speeds up, is responsible for
removing angular momentum at the same rate it is being accreted. For
the complete story follow the links at
RXTE observations continue to provide new insight into the formation
and properties of millisecond pulsars. In June 2003, the 5th
accreting millisecond pulsar, XTE J1814-338, was discovered in Craig
Markwardt's RXTE/PCA scans of the Galactic center region (Markwardt &
Swank 2003, IAUC 8144). This pulsar has a 314.4 Hz spin frequency and
resides in a binary with a 4.3 hr period. This discovery triggered an
extensive set of RXTE observations of the outburst. The object proved
to be a prolific source of thermonuclear bursts, with 27 bursts
observed during the course of 6 weeks of monitoring. All of them show
burst oscillations with the frequency and phase of the pulsations
tightly linked to that of the pulsations in the persistent X-ray
emission. This makes J1814 only the second source to show both
persistent pulsations as well as burst oscillations. Interestingly,
the burst oscillations in J1814 reveal, for the first time, a
significant first harmonic signal. Further details of this discovery
can be found in the Astrophysical Journal (Strohmayer et al. 2003,
ApJ, 596, L67).
Recently RXTE observations have led to the discovery of a new
Anomalous X-ray Pulsar (AXP), XTE J1810-197. In July, Alaa Ibrahim
(GWU/GSFC) requested observations of SGR 1806-20 in order to follow up
an IPN report of renewed burst activity from the source (Hurley et
al. GCN 2297). In these pointed RXTE observations a new 5.54 s pulsar
was found (GCN 2306). Serendipitously, the source was also present in
some of the PCA monitoring observations of the Galactic bulge region
and of a nearby target. This allowed a detection of the spin down
rate, which is similar to that seen in other AXPs. The requirement of
a steep power law index to describe the X-ray spectrum is also
consistent with an AXP identification. Further details of the RXTE
observations can be found at http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0310665.
RXTE observations of transient black hole systems have revealed
another source of high frequency quasiperiodic oscillations
(QPOs). Jeroen Homan (OAB, Merate) and colleagues discovered a 240 Hz
QPO in the transient black hole candidate XTE J1746-3213 (Atel
162). The QPO had a strength of 2% in the 6 - 21 keV ban and a width
of about 30 Hz. At the time the QPO was detected the energy spectrum
was dominated by a steep (index of 2.6) power law component. These
properties are quite similar to those seen in the other high frequency
QPO sources. This is now the 7th black hole system to reveal high
frequency QPOs, after GRS 1915+105, GRO J1655-40, XTE J1550-564, XTE
J1859+226, 4U 1630-47, and XTE J1650-500.
RXTE continues to discover new transient systems as well as new
outbursts of known objects. As an example, a recurrence of a 1975
transient MX0656-072, XTE J0658-073, was recently detected with the
ASM (Atel 197). Ed Morgan (MIT) and his colleagues reported on the
results of follow-up observations with the PCA and HEXTE, and revealed
that the source is an accreting pulsar with a 160.7 second period
(Atel 199). Deeper spectroscopic observations, reported by William Heindl
(UCSD/CASS) and collaborators, indicate the presence of a cyclotron
absorption line at ~35 keV. The line energy suggests a magnetic field
strength of ~4e12 Gauss for the neutron star (Atel 200). Observations
are continuing which may determine the orbit and the cause of very
Observing Cycle 9 News:
The RXTE Cycle 9 Peer Review recently took place in Baltimore, MD.
Reviewers from around the country, and world, met to discuss, dissect
and deliberate. Proposers should receive the results of the review
from NASA HQ by early December. Also check the RXTE home page,
http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/xte/xhp_1st.html for more
information on the results of the review. RXTE continues to be a
popular mission, judging by the mix of seasoned RXTE users and
newcomers, who submitted proposals on a broad range of topics.
A total of 167 proposals were submitted for Cycle 9. While the total
number of proposals received has been more or less stable over the
last few years, there has been a steady increase in the fraction of
proposals for targets of opportunity (TOOs). In Cycle 9, for the first
time the number of TOO proposals was larger than the number of non-TOO
proposals submitted. A total of 61.4 Megaseconds of observing time was
requested. The oversubscription factor for non-TOO observing time was
RXTE is well-known in the high energy community for its flexible
scheduling. This has resulted in more proposals asking for
coordination with Chandra, XMM, INTEGRAL, Swift and ground based radio
and Gamma-ray detectors. In addition, about 10% of submitted proposals
came from first-time RXTE PIs, indicating that RXTE is still
attracting new people and ideas.
The RXTE GOF is indebted to the scientists who took time out of their
busy schedules to participate in the RXTE proposal review process.
Many thanks to all.
RXTE Data Analysis and Calibration News:
A new version of the HEAsoft FTOOLS package, version 5.3, will be
released within a few weeks. The package includes several
improvements for RXTE data analysis, including new and improved PCA
The new response produces better agreement between individual PCUs;
produces best fit power law indices for the Crab of 2.1; and has
adjusted the absolute effective areas to provide good agreement with
historical measurements of the Crab (areas were increased by ~12%,
resulting in a corresponding decrease in derived fluxes).
A small problem was recently discovered with the PCA background
models. New models correcting this problem have been generated and
will be released by the XTE GOF. The new background models have been
modified so that a small time dependent term is correctly applied. The
models will be available at the RXTE GOF website and ftp area once
final testing is complete. For details of the FTOOLS release and the
availability of the new background models, check the RXTE News webpage
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9. Chandra X-ray Observatory Operations Report -
Roger Brissenden, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
Chandra past its 4th year of operation in July and the spacecraft and
science instruments continue to operate well.
The last six months have been a busy one for the operations team.
Highlights have included the completion in July of the summer eclipse
season using a flight software patch that improves power management,
the reduction in temperature of the Aspect Camera CCD, the uplink of a
flight software patch to change the trigger threshold for Chandra's
radiation detector, and the swap to the redundant Inertial Reference
Unit (IRU) due to an increasingly noisy gyroscope. The Flight team
also continued the investigation into the anomalous thruster firings
seen during some momentum unloadings and have determined a nominal
operating regime (the anomalous behavior being linked to a high
The decision to swap to the backup IRU in July was made after one of
the gyros in the prime IRU showed continued and increasing levels of
current noise (possibly due to increased friction experienced by the
gyro rotor from lubricant breakdown). The gyro is still functional but
considered to have a limited lifetime and the swap has ensured that
there is a functioning backup to switch to in the event of a safe
mode. The other three gyros (each IRU has two) are functioning
nominally and the spacecraft can be configured to operate with
cross-strapped gyros if needed.
The reduction in temperature of the Aspect Camera CCD from -10 to -15
deg C was performed to counter the increasing number of warm pixels
due to the anticipated build-up of radiation damage throughout the
mission. The temperature was lowered in five steps of 1 deg. C during
May-July and has resulted in a reduction in the number of warm pixels
by a factor of 2.
The Science and Flight operations teams continued to carefully monitor
the radiation levels due to solar events. The observing schedule was
halted 8 times since April either autonomously or via manual command
to safe the Science Instruments and minimize damage due to high
radiation. Four of the stoppages occurred in the two week period
beginning 24 October during which over 85% of the science time was
lost (the largest impact for the mission).
There were no load halts due to "false triggers" of the radiation
monitor (EPHIN) near belt entry however, thanks to the uplink of a
flight software patch that increased the number of frames from the
radiation detector required to trigger a load halt. Analysis of prior
unwanted events showed that an increase from 4 to 10 frames would
largely avoid the problem without an undue risk of increased radiation
dosage to the science instruments.
The overall average observing efficiency remained at 68% during the
last 6 months (the maximum possible is 70-75% due to radiation belts,
slewing, star acquisitions etc). The team responded rapidly to 3 fast
turn-around Targets of Opportunity that involved replanning the weekly
schedule and uplinking new mission loads at the earliest opportunity.
Both the ACIS and HRC focal plane instruments have continued to
operate well overall. The continuous degradation in the ACIS detection
efficiency at low-energies has been monitored through calibration
observations. The degradation is thought to be due to a build up of
contaminant on the outer side of the ACIS optical blocking filter and
preparations are in progress for a bake-out designed to remove a
significant fraction of the material. A decision is expected early in
the year about an April bakeout once testing and analysis is complete.
The processing, archiving and distribution of data has continued
without problems and the average time from target observation to
distribution of data has remained about a week. The archive continues
to grow at ~0.5 TB per year with retrievals of 150-200 GB per month.
The Data Systems team released a new version of the CIAO analysis
software in August. CIAO 3.0 is a major "infrastructure" release with
several libraries (most notably the Data Model) completely
rewritten. Many CIAO libraries are now accessible via S-Lang modules,
which significantly enhance the scripting capabilities. Also, CIAO 3.0
has been ported to MacOS X, making the software available to Macintosh
Observations for Cycle 4 are near completion and we expect to
transition to Cycle 5 in December. The Cycle 6 Call For Proposals is
planned for release in mid-December.
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10. HETE Mission News - George Ricker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
During the past year, HETE has continued to produce exciting results
concerning both gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and X-ray flashes (XRFs). All
three science instruments (i.e. the gamma-ray [Fregate], the medium
energy X-ray [WXM], and the soft X-ray cameras [SXC]) are working
extremely well. HETE is currently localizing 25-30 GRBs per year,
with 55 GRBs localized thus far in 3 years of operation (compared to
52 GRBs localized by BeppoSAX during its 6-year mission). HETE's
localization sample includes 16 XRFs. Twenty-one HETE localizations
have led to detection of an X-ray, optical or radio afterglow.
Redshifts have been reported for 12 HETE-localized GRBs (compared to
8 in total for the BeppoSAX mission). HETE has observed 45 bursts
from SGRs 1806-20 and 1900+14 in the summers of 2001- 2003 - and
discovered a 6th SGR: 1808-20. HETE has observed approximately 1000
XRBs. Four major science insights gained from HETE prompt or
follow-up observations in the last year include the detection of the
most extreme case of an X-ray flash in XRF020903, with an Epeak < 5
keV; evidence for a refreshed shock or inhomogeneous jet in
GRB021004; several bursts (especially GRB021211) that would likely
have been classified as optically dark bursts were it not for the
rapid and accurate localizations provided by HETE; and discovery of a
remarkable supernovae/GRB (GRB030329 = SN2003dh) -- HETE detected the
GRB and ~1 week later, optical observations detected a supernova
spectrum in the afterglow. HETE is also able to disseminate
detections quickly for optical follow-up -- 7 localizations were made
available in less than 60 seconds in the last 15 months; others have
been made available within hours. The soft X-ray camera (SXC)
problems experienced earlier in the mission have been rectified; the
harvest of SXC results (15 fine [~arcminute] localizations in the
past year) has accumulated at about 2/3 the rate of WXM localizations
alone. Almost no SXC-localized bursts have been optically dark: 87%
have IR or optical counterparts. The nature of XRFs is largely
unknown. HETE-discovered XRFs may provide unique insights into the
GRB rate, the structure of GRB jets, and possible links to
supernovae. HETE results are confirming and extending the so-called
"Amati relationship" between the GRB isotropic energy fluence of a
GRB and its value of Epeak. The prompt emission of GRBs can provide
an empirical predictive redshift estimator that is accurate to
approximately a factor of 2 (Atteia 2003).
HETE is proving to be ideally suited to localizing and studying XRFs,
an important reason cited by NASA in recently deciding to continue
HETE operations during (at least) the initial phases of the Swift
mission. Swift has the potential capability of observing
HETE-localized bursts with an added delay that is only of order a few
tens of seconds. Thus, HETE can increase by a factor ~10 the number
of XRFs that Swift can follow up -- these bursts are crucial for
determining the nature of XRFs, the structure of GRB jets, the GRB
rate, and the relationship between GRBs and Type Ic SNe. Also, HETE
can provide bolometric Fpeak, S, and spectral parameters (Epeak) for
HETE bursts that Swift can follow up -- measurements that are crucial
for confirming strong GRB evolution with redshift. Also, HETE
triggers (always in an anti-sun direction) occur in a different area
of the sky than do Swift triggers, meaning that HETE+Swift operating
together in partnership could in principle approximately double the
number of rare, bright GRBs which Swift would be able to discover on
its own. Such a HETE-derived sample can approximately double the
number of very bright GRBs at z < 0.5 that the Swift XRT and UVOT can
follow up -- bursts which are crucial for understanding the GRB - SN
connection. In addition, the HETE-derived sample can approximately
double the number of bright GRBs at z > 5 that Swift can follow up --
bursts which are crucial for using GRBs as probes of the very high z
universe. Thus, it is becoming ever more clear that the partnering of
HETE and Swift could significantly enhance the scientific return of
the Swift mission.
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11. INTEGRAL Mission News - Chris Winkler, INTEGRAL Project Scientist
INTEGRAL continues to produce interesting science. An update on the INTEGRAL
mission can be found in ISOC Newsletter No. 10,
including mission status, science highlights and accepted programs in the AO-2 proposal round.
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12. Meeting Announcements
Young Neutron Stars and Supernova Remnants (during 18-25 July 2004, Paris, France)
The meeting "Young Neutron Stars and Supernova Remnants," to be held as
part of the 35th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, 18-25 July 2004, Paris,
France, will address recent observational and theoretical developments
taking place in the study of young neutron stars, supernova remnants,
and the interactions between them. Issues addressed will include neutron
star demographics, birth properties and thermal evolution; the
interaction of supernova remnants with their environment; high-energy
and non-thermal emission from neutron stars and supernova remnants; and
the connection between pulsar magnetospheres, winds and nebulae. Two
special half-day sessions will be held jointly with other COSPAR
sessions: one on "Nucleosynthesis and Supernova Remnants", and another
on "Supernova Remnants and Cosmic Rays." The first announcement for this
meeting is available at http://hea-www.harvard.edu/~bmg/cospar_e1.4/.
Abstracts will be accepted until 15 Feb 2004; the deadline for early
registration is 15 May 2004.
High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (26-30 July 2004, Heidelberg, Germany)
During July 26-30, 2004 an International Symposium on "High Energy Gamma-Ray
Astronomy" will be held in Heidelberg (organizers F.A. Aharonian and H.J.
Voelk). It will be the third of its kind in Heidelberg, after 1994 and
2000. The principal aim is to discuss the basic objectives of high energy
astrophysics in their connection to gamma-ray astronomy at energies
between 1 GeV and 100 TeV, with some coverage of related fields such
as the highest energy cosmic rays and high energy neutrino astrophysics.
The Symposium will consist of the following four parts:
(1) Nonthermal Galactic Sources - Supernova Remnants,
Pulsars, Pulsar Winds/Plerions, Diffuse Galactic emission,
Compact Galactic Objects;
(2) Potential Extragalactic Sources - Blazars, Radiogalaxies
Starburst Galaxies, Rich clusters of galaxies;
(3) Particle Acceleration Models -- Acceleration in Supernova
Remnants, Relativistic shocks and Gamma-Ray Bursts, Particle
Acceleration in AGN Jets, Nonthermal Particles in Galaxy
(4) Observational Cosmology and Dark Matter - Extragalactic Background
Light and gamma-ray absorption features, Pair Halos around
Nonthermal Extragalactic Sources, Extragalactic Gamma Ray
Background, Gamma Rays and Dark Matter.
Gamma-Ray Bursts (during 18-25 July 2004, Paris, France)
The meeting "Gamma-Ray Bursts," to be held as
part of the 35th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, 18-25 July 2004, Paris,
France, will be a one-day gathering to discuss the exciting recent
findings in gamma-ray burst astronomy and prospect for future progress.
It will include review talks and contributed talks and posters on GRBs.
The Main Scientific Organizer of the GRB session is Neil Gehrels and
Deputy Organizer is Luigi Piro. More information can be found at
X-ray and Radio Connections Workshop (3-6 February, 2004, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)
The "X-ray and Radio Connections" workshop, to be held in Santa Fe, New
Mexico, USA from Tuesday February 3, through Friday February 6, 2004,
will focus on scientific areas where cross fertilization between theory
and observations in both x-ray and radio wavebands provides a key to
underlying physical processes. The following scientific topics will be
covered: massive star cluster outflows; colliding stellar winds;
supernova remnants; pulsar wind nebulae; dissipation of jets and lobes;
and cluster mergers. The meeting is jointly sponsored by: Chandra X-Ray
Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Los Alamos National Laboratories,
and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Registration and conference
details can be found at
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HEADNEWS, the electronic newsletter of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society, is issued twice yearly by the HEAD Secretary-Treasurer. The HEAD Executive Committee Members are: