ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Model of the Swift satellite. The Swift satellite detects gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), which are seemingly random flashes of gamma rays coming from random places that are billions of light years away from Earth. To capture the GRBs, Swift uses its Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), X-ray Telescope (XRT) and Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT). BAT is highly sensitive, detecting more gamma-ray phenomena than other all-sky surveys. When BAT spots a GRB, Swift quickly responds by facing the GRB and capturing it with the XRT and UVOT. This study into GRBs began in November 2004, when Swift was launched into its low orbit around Earth. Photographed at the University of Leicester, UK.
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