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Swift Spacecraft

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NATIONAL
November 21, 2004 | John Johnson, Times Staff Writer
The Swift spacecraft launched into orbit Saturday, carrying a payload of scientific instruments designed to probe some of the most powerful -- and fleeting -- explosive forces in the universe. After delays caused by weather and an equipment malfunction on the venerable Delta II launch vehicle, the rocket lifted off shortly after noon from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 20-foot-tall spacecraft successfully separated from the rocket booster a little more than an hour later, NASA announced.
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NATIONAL
November 21, 2004 | John Johnson, Times Staff Writer
The Swift spacecraft launched into orbit Saturday, carrying a payload of scientific instruments designed to probe some of the most powerful -- and fleeting -- explosive forces in the universe. After delays caused by weather and an equipment malfunction on the venerable Delta II launch vehicle, the rocket lifted off shortly after noon from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 20-foot-tall spacecraft successfully separated from the rocket booster a little more than an hour later, NASA announced.
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SCIENCE
May 11, 2005 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
NASA's Swift spacecraft has captured what scientists believe to be the "birth cry" of a black hole caused by the collision of two neutron stars a billion light-years from Earth. The discovery, announced Tuesday, is the best evidence so far that scientists may have found what causes short bursts of high-energy gamma rays, one of the most powerful sources of electromagnetic radiation in the universe.
SCIENCE
May 22, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
A pair of young astronomers have captured for the first time the earliest death throes of a supernova, verifying a decades-old theory about how the giant stars commit stellar suicide. While scanning a galaxy 90 million light-years away, the soon-to-be-married couple noticed a sudden eruption of X-rays from a spot in the constellation Lynx.
SCIENCE
August 25, 2011 | Amina Khan
For the first time, astronomers say they've borne witness to a supermassive black hole consuming a star. Two papers released Wednesday by the journal Nature describe powerful blasts of radiation whose brightness and behavior can be explained only by a sun-sized star being torn apart by the gravitational forces of a black hole at the center of its galaxy, the authors say. Scientists believe they have seen the aftermath of such stellar violence...
SCIENCE
October 6, 2005 | Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer
Scientists have solved one of the most elusive mysteries of the universe, tracing the cause of the brilliant flashes of cosmic radiation known as short gamma-ray bursts to the collision of neutron stars. When two of the super-dense, burned-out stars slam into each other, they emit gamma rays that release more energy in a fraction of a second than the sun has produced in its entire history, according to a series of papers published today in the journal Nature. "Our observations do not prove the .
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