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GLASTcast Episode 3: Swift and GLAST
Dave Thompson: Swift is an extremely successful NASA satellite that’s operating right now. It’s named after a bird, which chases insects. Well, the Swift satellite doesn’t chase insects, it chases gamma ray bursts.
Chip Meegan: The Swift instrument sees bursts in a different energy range than GLAST will look at, and the goal of Swift is to rapidly re-point to pick-up optical and x-ray emissions. GLAST is primarily devoted to seeing in a new energy range.
Dave Thompson: It’s designed to pick-up at the upper end of the Swift energy range and carry it on up to much higher energies.
Lynn Cominsky: And it allows you to just see, you know, stranger and more exotic things the further up in energy that you go.
Neil Gehrels: GLAST and Swift are very different. Swift is like a nimble, small satellite that points here and there, but it isn’t surveying the whole sky. It’s pointing in at particular objects. GLAST looks in the high energy gamma ray sky, and looks over the whole sky at all times.
Steve Ritz: One of the wonderful things about GLAST is that we see the whole sky effectively all the time.
Alan Marscher: You need to follow the object all the time in order to see its entire range of behavior.
Neil Gehrels: We hope when GLAST and Swift are up together that we can use them working simultaneously.
Dave Thompson: So when we see something interesting with GLAST, we can ask Swift to go look at it with their other telescopes, and gain additional information about it.
Neil Gehrels: We can use them working together to really do the gamma ray science and science of the whole universe much better.
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