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13 September 2007 The swift x-ray telescope: status and performance
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We present science highlights and performance from the Swift X-ray Telescope (XRT), which was launched on November 20, 2004. The XRT covers the 0.2-10 keV band, and spends most of its time observing gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows, though it has also performed observations of many other objects. By mid-August 2007, the XRT had observed over 220 GRB afterglows, detecting about 96% of them. The XRT positions enable followup ground-based optical observations, with roughly 60% of the afterglows detected at optical or near IR wavelengths. Redshifts are measured for 33% of X-ray afterglows. Science highlights include the discovery of flaring behavior at quite late times, with implications for GRB central engines; localization of short GRBs, leading to observational support for compact merger progenitors for this class of bursts; a mysterious plateau phase to GRB afterglows; as well as many other interesting observations such as X-ray emission from comets, novae, galactic transients, and other objects.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David N. Burrows, J. A. Kennea, A. F. Abbey, A. Beardmore, S. Campana, M. Capalbi, G. Chincarini, G. Cusumano, P. A. Evans, J. E. Hill, P. Giommi, M. Goad, O. Godet, A. Moretti, D. C. Morris, J. P. Osborne, C. Pagani, K. L. Page, M. Perri, J. Racusin, P. Romano, R. L. C. Starling, G. Tagliaferri, F. Tamburelli, L. G. Tyler, and R. Willingale "The swift x-ray telescope: status and performance", Proc. SPIE 6686, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XV, 668607 (13 September 2007);


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