A Gamma Ray Burst

On Sunday morning, a wave of X-rays and gamma rays passed through the solar system, triggering detectors aboard the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and other spacecraft. Telescopes around the world turned to the site to study the aftermath, and new observations continue. Swift’s X-Ray Telescope captured the afterglow of GRB 221009A about an hour after it was first detected. The bright rings result from X-rays scattered from otherwise unobservable dust layers within our galaxy that lie in the direction of the burst.

The instrument on Swift that detected the GRB was the Burst Alert Telescope. My first project at Goddard Space Flight Center was the design of the power regulators for the Burst Alert Telescope’s x-ray detector array.

Image Credit: NASA

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