University of Maryland
Atlantic Building, Room 2400 4:30 PM Monday, March 6, 2006
Coffee, Tea & Snacks 4:15-4:30 PM

Neil Gehrels
Goddard Space Flight Center

Gamma Ray Burst Discoveries by the Swift Mission

The NASA Swift mission, in orbit since November 2004, is an innovative new multiwavelength observatory designed to determine the origin of gamma-ray bursts and use them to probe the early Universe. Early results from the mission will be presented. The long-standing mystery of short GRBs is beginning to be solved in a most interesting direction. High redshift bursts have been detected to redshift z=6.3 leading to a better understanding of star formation rates a early times. GRBs have been found with giant X-ray flares occurring in their afterglow. The very nearby GRB 060218 has an accompanying supernova SN 2006aj that is being observed to date.