Universe  ID: 12980

Swift Millionth Image Mosaic

The Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) aboard the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory captured its millionth image on May 13, 2018. It took an image of an active galaxy called 2MASX J16110570+0234002, which scientists think exhibited some unusual behavior. A mosaic, created using images UVOT has taken since Swift launched in 2004, celebrates this major milestone for the mission.

UVOT monitors the optical and ultraviolet afterglow of gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the universe. Swift’s two other instruments observe these bursts in X-rays and gamma rays. The explosions only last for a few seconds, but Swift can autonomously respond to a burst detection within two minutes and bring the event into view for follow-up observations.

Swift was renamed in January 2018 to honor the late Neil Gehrels, who served as the mission’s principle investigator.

Imagery for this mosaic came from here and here.



Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Lead Producer
Sara Mitchell (University of Maryland College Park): Writer
Jeanette Kazmierczak (University of Maryland College Park): Science Writer
Brad Cenko (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Francis Reddy (University of Maryland College Park): Graphics
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. However, individual items should be credited as indicated above.

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This item is part of this series:
Astrophysics Stills

SVS >> Galaxy
SVS >> X-ray
SVS >> Black Hole
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Space
SVS >> Swift
SVS >> Supernova
SVS >> Star
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