Newsletter No. 98, June 2011

Back to Contents

9. Swift Mission News - Stefan Immler (UMd/GSFC), Lynn Cominsky (Sonoma State), & Neil Gehrels (GSFC)

Swift Guest Investigator Program:
The Swift Guest Investigator (GI) program will continue to solicit proposals in GRB and non-GRB research during Cycle 8, pending the approval of programmatic and funding plans by the Administration and Congress. NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2011 was released on February 18, 2011, but the final text for Appendix D.5 "Swift Guest Investigator – Cycle 8" will be released as an amendment within the next few months. Proposals will likely be due on September 28, 2011, but no earlier than 90 days after the release of the amendment. More details about the GI Program will be posted on the Swift proposer web site when available. http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/swift/proposals/.

Swift Joins Forces to Observe Unprecedented Explosion:
On March 28, Swift's Burst Alert Telescope discovered a gamma-ray source, Swift J164449.3+573451 (initially reported as GRB 110328A), in the constellation Draco when it erupted with the first in a series of powerful bursts. The burst flared repeatedly in
the week following its discovery by Swift. Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, but flaring emission from these events never lasts more than a few hours. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, and NSF's EVLA radio array have teamed up to give a precise location of the burst and showed that it lies at the center of a galaxy 3.8 billion light-years away. Tidal forces tore the star apart, and the infalling gas continues to stream toward the hole.

Swift Co-Sponsors Multi-wavelength Professional Development Course:
As part of a multi-mission collaboration, Swift is co-sponsoring the pilot offering of "NASA's Multi-wavelength Universe" – an online professional development course to be held July 11-22, for pre- and in-service teachers. For more information and to register, see: http://epo.sonoma.edu/multiu.php

Back to Contents