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Soft Gamma-Ray Repeater Light Echoes Captured by Swift Satellite

The X-Ray Telescope (XRT) aboard NASA's Swift satellite captured light echoes from a soft-gamma-ray repeater. These stellar remnants, which are thought to be highly magnetized neutron stars called magnetars, occasionally belt out a series of X- and gamma-ray flares. On Jan. 22, 2009, an object known as SGR J1550-5418 began its second and most intense round of outbursts since October 2008. In the following days, Swift's XRT captured what appears to be an expanding halo as X-rays from the brightest bursts scatter off of intervening dust. Multiple rings form as the X-rays interact with different dust clouds. Closer clouds produce larger rings. Both the rings and their apparent expansion are an effect of light's finite speed and the longer path the scattered light must travel. They will be studied to make a more reliable measurement of the distance to the source and to the dust clouds.
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More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/swift/bursts/gammaray_fireworks.html

Animation of X-ray halo from the flaring neutron star SGR J1550-5418 without overlays. Credit: NASA/Swift/Jules Halpern, Columbia Univ.    Animation of X-ray halo from the flaring neutron star SGR J1550-5418 without overlays.

Credit: NASA/Swift/Jules Halpern, Columbia Univ.
Duration: 21.0 seconds
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Animation of X-ray halo from the flaring neutron star SGR J1550-5418 with date overlays. Credit: NASA/Swift/Jules Halpern, Columbia Univ.    Animation of X-ray halo from the flaring neutron star SGR J1550-5418 with date overlays.

Credit: NASA/Swift/Jules Halpern, Columbia Univ.
Duration: 21.0 seconds
Available formats:
  960x540     WEBM         3 MB
  640x360     MPEG-4   3 MB
  640x360     MPEG-1   4 MB
  512x288     MPEG-1   3 MB
  320x240     MPEG-4   391 KB
  1280x720   QT         11 MB
  1024x576   JPEG         133 KB
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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10366
Animation Number:10366
Completed:2009-02-03
Producer:Stefanie Misztal (UMBC)
Writer:Francis Reddy (SPSYS)
Platform/Sensor/Data Set:Swift
Series:Astrophysics Visualizations
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Swift/Jules Halpern (Columbia Univ.)
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Gamma Ray
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Neutron Star
SVS >> X-ray
SVS >> Gamma Ray Burst
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Swift
SVS >> Gamma Ray Observatory
SVS >> Magnetar
NASA Science >> Universe
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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