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SSU Program Updates

SSU Program Updates

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SSU Program Updates

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  1. SSU Program Updates July 26, 2010 Professor Lynn Cominsky

  2. Current SSU Missions • Fermi (formerly GLAST) - launched June 11, 2008 – nominal mission is 5 years – Project Scientist Julie McEnery will update • Swift – launched November 20, 2004 • XMM-Newton – launched December, 1999 • NuSTAR – now in Phase C/D, planned for Feb. 2012 launch • SNAP – reconsituted as JDEM = Joint Dark Energy Mission. In limbo pending “Blandford committee” report • EXIST – also in limbo…

  3. Changes in the EA program • Fermi EAs have resigned: Walter Glogowski, Sharla Dowding • Fermi EA has had a baby – Janet Moore – cannot be with us this week • Linda Smith, Fermi EA is in Master’s program at Penn which will not let her attend training week • David Beier has had some health problems recently and is under Dr’s order not to fly • NuSTAR EA Bill Panczner has had serious surgery and has had to retire. • Tyson Harty (Georgia) is with us this week to see if he will join the program.

  4. Senior Review Results 2010 • Happens every 2 years – determines funding for next 2-4 years. • Fermi was not reviewed – it is in its 5-year nominal mission. It will be up for review in 2012 cycle.

  5. Swift and the Sr. Review • Swift was #1 in the 2008 senior review. However, it still did well in this review: “Swift was launched on November 30, 2004 and is presently operating well. There are no known issues that would prevent operation for many more years.” • “Swift is a productive and important mission making significant contributions to astronomy. The Swift Guest Investigator program is producing very good science and should continue to be a key component of the mission.” • Funding was recommended at the expected level through 2012, with reassessment for 2013-2014. • I expect to receive sufficient Swift E/PO funds for at least two more years, to continue to fund the 5 Swift EAs. And probably for four more years.

  6. XMM and the Sr. Review • XMM was rated #8/10 in 2008. It did much better this year. “XMM-Newton, launched in 1999, is a facility-class X-ray observatory that is a cornerstone of ESA’s Horizon 2000 program. It retains strong European support, and in the most recent review of extended ESA missions it was among the most highly rated. After a decade of operation, the spacecraft health and performance remain satisfactory” • Because XMM was rated so low in 2008, it came into the Sr. Review with a very low “in-guide” number. Therefore, they asked for an augmentation for 2011-2014. This was approved for 2011, with more for 2012, and another review for 2013-2014. • I am waiting to see how this translates into money for E/PO. I will probably know by the Fall.

  7. EA Shuffle…. • So if XMM funding is seriously cut, the two XMM EAs will switch over to being funded by Fermi, which is now 2 EAs short. • But we won’t know until Fall. • Also, travel money seems to be at a premium since so many people are overrunning. • I can’t afford to keep the stipends the same, and also raise the travel funding. Last time we raised both…. Let’s discuss.

  8. New SSU Project(s) • Funding received for development of an on-line general education Cosmology course for undergraduates – in progress. We will have a short presentation by Geraldine Cochran, who has been doing education research with Prof. Kim Coble about students’ views in Cosmology • SSU is trying to get funding for other projects – High School CanSat and high-powered rocket curriculum development, Palomar Observatory museum exhibit to augment NuSTAR E/PO program, and (at least one) potential new Explorer satellite. Results for the first two should be announced in the late Fall 2010.

  9. Bright blazar Gamma-ray pulsar Unidentified High-mass binary Radio galaxy Globular cluster Fermi Update – details from Julie McEnery, Project Scientist

  10. Fermi products • Updated since launch: • Fermi factsheet • AGN guide – will be reprinted after EA training (also poster) • Fermi paper model • Fermi stickers (two types) • Fermi race card game • Fermi litho • Other products for educators: • Active Galaxy Pop-up Book and Ed guide • 3 TOPS modules • Also have to give away: • Fermi Epo’s Chronicles lithos • Fermi post-it notes pads

  11. Swift • Swift continues to enjoy good health, has recently detected 500th burst. • Swift is now a mature mission, and although its primary science is still GRBs, there are many other exciting things that Swift is studying… • Supernovae • Active Galaxies • Other flares

  12. Swift Press-worthy Science • May 26, 2010 - NASA's Swift Survey finds 'Smoking Gun' of Black Hole Activation • April 19, 2010 - NASA's Swift Catches 500th Gamma-ray Burst • January 27, 2010 - Newborn Black Holes Boost Explosive Power of Supernovae • November 10, 2009 - Swift, XMM-Newton satellites tune into a middleweight black hole • September 16, 2009 - Swift Creates Best-Ever Ultraviolet Image of Andromeda Galaxy • June 8, 2009 - Keck Study Sheds New Light On ‘Dark’ Gamma-ray Bursts

  13. Swift Press-worthy Science • April 28, 2009 - New Gamma-ray Burst Smashes Cosmic Distance Record • February 28, 2009 - NASA's Swift Spies Comet Lulin • February 10, 2009 - NASA's Swift, Fermi Probe Fireworks From a Flaring Gamma-Ray Star • January 6, 2009: NASA's Swift Shows Active Galaxies Are Different Near And Far • September 19, 2008 - Swift Catches Farthest Gamma-Ray Burst • September 10, 2008- "Naked-Eye" Gamma-Ray Burst Was Aimed Squarely At Earth

  14. Swift/UVOT M31 tour • By NASA’s Stefan Immler

  15. Swift’s 500 Bursts

  16. Most distant burst (again) • April 23, 2009 – redshift 8.2 or 630 million years after the BB • So far away that the optical afterglow was redshifted into infrared • Previous record holder GRB080913 had z=6.7, was 190 million light years closer

  17. “Naked Eye” Burst = GRB080319B • Afterglow so bright it could have been seen by someone’s unaided eye (if they had been looking) • Jet must have been aimed right at Earth, with particles traveling at 99.99995% c

  18. The burst that “blinded” Swift • GRB100621A – so bright in x-rays that the XRT was saturated • Not noticed until UK astronomer Phil Evans returned from vacation and data were missing from this burst • He reconstructed the burst to determine that this was the brightest x-ray source ever seen by Swift – 143,000 x-ray photons per second! • Distance to burst was about 5 billion light years XRT image shown in red to yellow colors. The UVOT saw nothing unusual.

  19. Swift Products • Newton’s Laws poster set • Swift Eyes Through Time videos and educator’s guide (Penn State) - download • GRB Educator’s Guide and poster • Out of stock: Priorities? • Swift glider • Swift model booklets • Still available • Swift sticker • Swift mini-plots • Needing update: GEMS guide

  20. Latest XMM News: • • 6/21/10: XMM-Newton line detection provides new tool to probe extreme gravity • 5/31/10: Novel observing mode on XMM-Newton opens new perspectives on galaxy clusters • 5/27/10: Molecular clouds reveal a giant outburst of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Galaxy • 5/11/10: Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium in the Sculptor Wall • 5/10/10: Invisible light discovers the most distant cluster of galaxies – redshift 1.62, this is 9.6 billion light years

  21. Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect • Photons from cosmic microwave background travel through clusters of galaxies on their way to our detectors • The electrons in the ionized (X-ray emitting) gas in the clusters interact with the CMB photons, modifying their spectrum in a special way – this is the “Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect” • The modified CMB spectrum can be measured by mm-wavelength telescopes

  22. XMM detections of galaxy clusters • Microwave contours in white • X-ray emitting gas: purple • Overlaid on optical image • The cluster has a mass of over 1015 solar masses, • a temperature of about 9.3 keV • redshift z=0.32 • Needs multi-wavelength approach to detect and measure distant clusters

  23. Latest XMM News: • 4/30/10: Jets from BHs expel gas not only from their host galaxies but even from the space between galaxies in groups Blue is radio jet Red is X-ray emitting gas Green is galaxy

  24. Latest XMM News: • 4/30/10: New XMM Source catalog brings total X-ray source counts to over ¼ million

  25. XMM-Newton Products • We have restocked the Earth balls for the 3D magnetic field activity • Rulers have been reprinted – 6 inch version • Supernova guide is approved by NASA Product Review – but we are not printing them (CDs only) • Also still available online: • CLEA Lab “Dying Stars and the Birth of the Elements” and manual • Space Place “Black Hole Rescue” in English and Spanish • eXtreme Universe planetarium show is still in progress – Kevin John will show this on Wednesday

  26. Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array • NuSTAR “slideshow” and pens – a few available

  27. NuSTAR after launch • First focusing hard x-ray (6-80 keV) mission

  28. NuSTAR hardware • Focusing optics – low background, compact detector

  29. NuSTAR Hardware Copenhagen (DTU-Space): optics coating depth graded Pt/SiC and W/Si coatings GSFC: optics slumping >50% of flight substrates produced similar to planned IXO process measured figure: 20”-30” ATK/Goleta: extendable mast fully deployed flight mast Columbia: optics assembly expected performance: 43” (HPD), 7.5” (FWHM) Caltech: focal plane CdZnTe detectors

  30. NuSTAR Performance NuSTAR

  31. NuSTAR Baseline Science Plan (2 yr) Objective #1: How are black holes distributed through the cosmos, and how do they affect the formation of galaxies? Objective #2: How are stellar remnants distributed within the Galaxy and near the Galactic center? Objective #3: How do stars explode and forge the elements that compose the Earth? Objective #4: What powers the most extreme active galactic nuclei? ~6 months of unallocated science observing time in first 2 years for ToO’s, additional programs, and/or to respond to primary program

  32. Other resources of interest: • GRB Lottery Site: • GRB Skymap Site: • GTN Site: • Black Hole Rescue: • Epo’s Chronicles: • MySpace, Facebook and CafePress sites for: Fermi (fermi), Swift (swiftsatellite), XMM-Newton (xmmnewton), Spaceship Epo • MySpace only for: NuSTAR (nustarsatellite)