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Status of Swift: Burst Hunting

Where is Swift?

Click the image for a larger version.

The image above shows position of Swift (yellow *) and its current orbit around the Earth. The radio dish shows the location of the Malindi ground station, and the dashed yellow line over the southern Atlantic region is the SAA.

What is Swift looking at?

The image below shows the area of the sky Swift is currently observing. The centre is at
RA: 16h 16m 22.08s, Dec: -50° 39′ 21.2″ (=244.092°, -50.656°) and the spacecraft roll angle is 149°. The observation began at 15:14 UTC. The yellow and cyan circles shows the areas of the sky which Swift cannot point towards because of the positions of the sun and moon respectively (i.e. no part of these circles can lie in the centre of the image). The grey region shows the field of view of the Swift-BAT: the darker the grey, the less sensitive to bursts Swift is.

The pointing information is determined from the pre-planned science timeline for Swift. If Swift is observing an automated target, such as a GRB, the above may be incorrect.

The images above were generated using the Kapteyn python package, and we acknowledge the help of Kapteyn's developer, M.G.R. Vogelaar, in developing these plots.