Sunday, January 09, 2005

Watch the skies!

An exciting time for space enthusiasts this year.
  • We've just seen the mars rovers celebrate their first birthday
  • it's only five more sleeps to go until Hughyens descends on Titan! The planetary society is a good place to keep up with the science and comment on these two missions.
  • and Swift has turned on and is detecting gamma ray bursts(GRB's).
This last satellite probably promises to have the most scientifically interesting results. GRB's are thought to come from exploding supernova,black holes and other energetic phenomena. They are the most energetic particles we can detect. The bursts are usually very short and identifying the source is very difficult. Swift is designed to automatically turn towards the source within minutes once it's fully operating. But it's aready seeing more GRB's than was expected which is good because it's confounding expectations. More power to the unexpected!

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