spacer link to MAST page spacer logo image spacer
link to STScI page

Swift-UVOT Latest News

  • 2/7/18 - From the HEASARC web site: In honor of Neil Gehrels, who helped develop Swift and served as its principal investigator until his death on Feb. 6, 2017, the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer has officially been renamed the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory.

  • 10/4/13 - New WGET options are now available. From the search form, selecting WGET as the output format will create a list of commands for downloading the SWIFT sky images. Also, from the search results page, selecting the WGET format will create a script for downloading all the available files for each observation.

  • 10/2/13 - The September SWIFT-UVOT data has been uploaded from HEASARC. Updates to the various database tables have also been completed.

BASIC info

Text copied from

The Neil Gehels Swift Observatory is a NASA medium sized explorer mission, developed in collaboration with UK and Italy. It was successfully launched on November 20, 2004 from Cape Canaveral (USA). The primary scientific objectives are to determine the origin of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) and to pioneer their use as probes of the early universe. The multiwavelength observatory carries three instruments: the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT; Gamma Ray), the X-ray Telescope (XRT) and the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT). Note only the UVOT data is being archived at MAST.

Key characteristics are the rapid response to newly detected GRB and rapid data dissemination. As soon as the BAT discovers a new GRB, Swift rapidly relays its 1-4 arcmin position estimate to the ground and triggers an autonoumos spacecraft slew to bring the burst within the field of view of XRT and UVOT to follow-up the afterglow. The Neil Gehels Swift Observatory is expected to provide redshifts for the bursts and multi-wavelength lightcurves for the duration of the afterglow. The BAT will also perform a high sensitivity hard X-ray sky survey.

computer-generated drawing (NASA)
Swift - computer generated drawing (NASA)

Mission Characteristics
  • Energy Range : 0.2 - 150 keV plus UV/Optical telescope (170-650 nm).
  • Special Features : Autonomous spacecraft response to GRB. Accurate position estimates within minutes. Multiwavelength observations.
  • Payload :
    • Burst Alert Telescope (BAT; 15-150 keV) Wide field-of-view coded-aperture imager. Eff. area 5240 cm2, FOV 1.4 sr half coded, ~4 arcmin position accuracy.
    • X-Ray Telescope (XRT; 0.2-10.0 keV) CCD Imaging spectrometer. Eff. area 110 cm2 @ 1.5 keV, FOV 23.6´ X 23.6´, ~5 arcsec position accuracy
    • UV/Optical Telescope (UVOT; 170-650 nm) Modified Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with image-intensified CCD detector. 6 color filters and 2 grism, FOV 17´ X 17´, 0.3 arcsec position accuracy.