INTEGRAL Latest News
Green light for continued operations
7 December 2017 ESA's Science Programme Committee (SPC) has approved indicative extensions, up to 2019-2020, for the operation of eight scientific missions, including INTEGRAL. This followed a comprehensive review of the current operational status and outlook of the missions and their expected scientific returns during the extension period. The SPC extended the operations of INTEGRAL by one year, until 31 December 2019. A proposal to extend INTEGRAL until the end of 2020 will be presented to the next meeting of the SPC in February 2018. The decision will be subject to confirmation towards the end of 2018.
Happy Birthday - INTEGRAL celebrates 15 successful years in orbit
17 October 2017 Fifteen years ago, on 17 October 2002 at 6:41 GMT, the European Space Agency's INTEGRAL observatory was launched.
From rare breeds of high-energy stars to the feeding habits of monster black holes and the annihilation of antimatter, the mission has been uncovering the secrets of the most energetic phenomena in the Universe. And since it is never too late to try something new, in recent times INTEGRAL has begun to play a crucial role in new fields of astrophysics, like follow-up of high-energy neutrinos, or especially exciting: the study of gravitational wave sources.
INTEGRAL sees blast travelling with gravitational waves
16 October 2017 INTEGRAL played a crucial role in discovering the flash of gamma rays linked to the gravitational waves released by the collision of two neutron stars. On 17 August, INTEGRAL, as well as NASA's Fermi satellite recorded a short Gamma-Ray Burst. Such bursts are not uncommon, but this one was preceded a few seconds earlier by a gravitational wave signal!
The detection, most probably the tell-tale-sign of a neutron star merger, led to an intense follow-up campaign by a large number of ground and space telescopes. First results have been made public in press conferences all around the world and scientific papers published in a special issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters. For more detail, please read the ESA Press Release.
Target-of-Opportunity observations of MAXI J1535-571
8 September 2017 INTEGRAL started a public Target-of-Opportunity observation today, in Revolution 1860, of the recently detected candidate black-hole X-ray binary MAXI J1535-571. This source has also triggered an accepted monitoring program proposal (PI: Belloni). First observations are scheduled in Revolution 1861. Data will be also public.
Strongest flare in a decade from the Sun affects INTEGRAL
7 September 2017 The strongest Solar flare in a decade was released from the Sun yesterday, and made its impact on Earth and its surroundings. The X9.3 flare caused the OMC and JEM-X to go into safe Mode on 6 September 14:03 and 7 September 02:17 UTC, respectively.
Update 8 September 2017 JEM-X and OMC have been activated again today, around 12:21 UTC.
INTEGRAL TOO observations of 4U 1543-624
17 August 2017 The candidate ultra-compact neutron-star binary 4U 1543-624 is currently showing an unusual rise in the hard-X-ray flux. INTEGRAL ToO observations have been requested and observations are planned for Revolution 1853 (2017-08-21 16:34:47 to 2017-08-22 06:45:46). The data will be publicly available.