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Most of the Active Galaxies group are away at the moment, but today I had an email from Tom to ask if I would look at the data on another source which was also observed over the weekend, along with the new supernova in M51. It turns out this other source is a gamma ray burster detected by the Swift satellite.

GRBs are distant explosions that are enormously energetic, originally discovered by scientists looking for the tell-tale signs of nuclear weapons testing. This particular event, catalogued as SWIFT J1753.5-0127, took place on 30th June and an optical afterglow has been detected. This kind of source is often put in a "Target of Opportunity" proposal when applying for telescope time. You can't schedule this kind of observation in the normal way because no one has any idea when (or where) the next one will occur, just like our supernovae.

After processing the data once and getting crazy results, I worked out what had gone wrong (which is good - feels like I understand what's actually going in!) and tried again. This time I got a far more sensible result, but I still want to check that it agrees with the answer that Simon, another astronomer at Jodrell and a VLBI expert, found when he processed the same data.

Posted by Megan on Wednesday 06th Jul 2005 (23:00 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink


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