UVOTUltraviolet and Optical Telescope
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Three days after the outburst was announced, Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) captured multiple images and a spectrum of the asteroid.
But none of the emissions most commonly identified in comets, such as hydroxyl or cyanogen, show up in the UVOT spectrum.
As of mid-February, UVOT hadn't imaged any burst afterglows--a good candidate on January 26 was out of bounds because it was only a few degrees from Vega, which is so bright that it might have damaged the instruments.
The accurate position obtained by XRT and UVOT will also be flashed to astronomers worldwide, who will then rush to use ground-based telescopes and other satellites to catch the afterglow before it fades.
Although small by the standards of ground-based observatories, Swift's UVOT plays a critical role in rapidly pinpointing the locations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the brightest explosions in the cosmos.
This composite of three Swift UVOT ultraviolet images highlights the luminous hot gas in the supernova remnant.
"When we aren't studying GRBs, we use the satellite's unique capabilities to engage in other scientific investigations, some of which produce beautiful images from the UVOT that we're delighted to be able to share with the public," Michael Siegel, lead scientist on the UVOT and a research associate in astronomy and astrophysics at the MOC, said.
Swift's UVOT detected no such emission, leading the researchers to exclude large, red giant stars from Type Ia binaries.
"The UVOT's wavelength range, coupled with the fact that Swift is a space observatory with a speedy response rate, unconstrained by time of day or weather, has allowed us to collect this early ultraviolet spectrum," said Martin Still from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) at University College London (UCL).
Paul Kuin, also from MSSL, who works on the calibration of the UVOT instrument, explained that, "By looking at these earlier moments of gamma-ray bursts, we will not only be able to better calculate things such as the luminosity and distance of a burst, but to find out more about the galaxies that play host to them and the impact these explosions have on their environments."
"The UVOT data show that Lulin was shedding nearly 800 gallons of water each second," he added.
HOW YOU Local Authority Turnout Con Geoff Gubb UVOTED ...