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Mission Overview

Map of Observations

mission wavelength

Wavelength Coverage

Wavelength Coverage Plot. Roughly 2000-8000 Angstroms

The Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory is a first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of gamma-ray burst (GRB) science. Its three instruments work together to observe GRBs and afterglows in the gamma-ray, X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical wavebands. MAST serves as a secondary archive for the Ultraviolet Optical Telescope (UVOT).


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.

Active From

November 20, 2004 - Present


0.502 arcsec/pixel        

λ/Δλ ~ 200 (grisms @400 nm)



Search Tools

Featured Data Products


    UVOT Serendipitous Source Catalog (UVOTSSC) - a MAST High-Level Science Product

    Swift's Optical/Ultraviolet Supernova Archive (SOUSA) - a MAST High-Level Science Product

    A Large Catalog of UV/Optical GRB Afterglows (UVOTGRB) - a MAST High-Level Science Product

SwiftUVOT Images


NGC 1566
UV Mosaic of Large Magellanic Cloud

SwiftUVOT mosaic of the Large Magellanic Cloud.  See the NASA Press Release for more information.

NGC 300
Omega Centauri

Supplemental Links


MAST made extensive use of the Swift web sites at HEASARC, Penn State, ASI Science Data Center in Italy, and the University of Leicester in England. All the catalog information and data sets available from MAST were provided by the HEASARC Guest Observer Facility.