UVOT image of M33
Credit: NASA/Swift/Dr. Stefan Immler

Peeking in on the Neighbors

You can see new things through different colored glasses. The Swift observatory, primarily a gamma-ray burst hunter, has many different ways to view the Universe, including an ultraviolet telescope, called UVOT, designed to study the afterglows of GRBs. But GRBs occur every few days, so there's often times between bursts that the Swift telescopes can be doing other useful things. The image above is an image in ultraviolet light of M33, a small companion galaxy of the Andromeda galaxy, M31. The UVOT mosaic shown above is composed of 13 individual snapshot observations (lasting about 20 minutes each) in three different filters, and covers the entire disk of the galaxy. The resulting image is one of the best ultraviolet observations of any galaxy obtained to date. The ultraviolet radiation is mostly emitted by young massive stars, so this image helps astronomers understand where young massive stars form, and where they go to die.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:29 EDT

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