INTEGRAL Latest News

INTEGRAL X-rays Earth's aurora

26 January 2016 Normally busy with observing high-energy black holes, supernovas and neutron stars, INTEGRAL recently had the chance to look back at our own planet's aurora.

Change in Russian Federation data rights

13 January 2016 Last year, the Russian Advisory Committee (RAC) for INTEGRAL agreed with proposed changes to the data rights policy with regard to Russian Federation proposals in AO-13. Data or science rights to the targets or science in the field of view (FOV) of the instruments proposed by the PIs from the Russian Federation and accepted by the TAC will be allocated to these PIs with the usual 1-year proprietary period. However, the rest of the field will be made public to the community at-large through the consolidated data programme, i.e., having a policy similar to that for non-Russian Federation proposals. Russian PIs still have exceptional access to the near-real time data of their observations. This policy change is in effect from January 1. Note that the guaranteed return to the Russian Federation science community from the open time programme stays 25%.

IBIS restart in revolution 1633

12 January 2016 In order to fix the PICsIT histogram malfunction (see news from 18 December), the IBIS instrument will be fully deactivated and restarted in Revolution 1633, which is dedicated to the study of diffuse emission with SPI. The procedure is set to start on 14 January 6:30Z and to befinished around 19:00Z on 15 January.

AO-13 observations and preparations for AO-14 started

11 January 2016 ISOC wishes you a healthy and successful 2016. The AO-13 cycle of observations started on January 1st and will last 12 months, see the INTEGRAL target lists and sky maps for details as well as the Long-Term Plan.

ISOC is preparing the next call for proposals requesting INTEGRAL observing time. The AO-14 release will be on 29 February, with a deadline on 8 April 2016. The AO-14 cycle of observations is foreseen to begin on 1 January 2017 and has the usual duration of 12 months.

Release of AO-14: call for observing time proposals:   29 February 2016
Deadline for submission of observing time proposals:   8 April 2016 (14:00 CEST)
Meeting of the Time Allocation Committee:   17-19 May 2016
Start of AO-14 cycle of observations:   1 January 2017

INTEGRAL TOO observations of V404 Cyg (GS 2023+338)

23 December 2015 INTEGRAL will perform new, out-of-TAC, ToO observations on the black-hole X-ray binary transient V404 Cyg. The source showed unexpectedly renewed activity today (see the various ATels and GCN Circulars). This is the same source which showed its fireworks in June. The observations will be done under the public flag. The observations are planned for 26 December to 31 December.

Temporary interruption of PICsIT HISTOGRAMS

18 December 2015 Due to a malfunction, the integration of histograms in INTEGRAL's IBIS
PICsIT layer has been interrupted. Recovery will require a lengthy procedure, estimated at 2 days, which will interrupt all IBIS data taking. After evaluation of the technical risks and scientific impact it has been decided to delay the re-activitation of PICsIT histograms to mid January 2016. Besides operational reasons for the wait, this also ensures only observing programmes aimed at diffuse emission will be affected.

INTEGRAL TOO observations of Mrk 421 flaring in the VHE band

17 December 2015 The blazar Mrk 421 has been found to be flaring at VHE energies by the FACT telescope. INTEGRAL TOO observations in revolution 1623 (2015-12-18 10:59:31 to 2015-12-20 10:45:10) are being undertaken in coordination with Swift.

How INTEGRAL was 'lost' and became a space rock

15 December 2015 When INTEGRAL changed its orbit last January/February not everywhere was its new orbit info updated. At the end of November, Jonathan McDowell (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) tweeted that asteroid-observing astronomers had been tracking an unidentified object, WJ2B5AC, with a 3831 min period. It had been found by the Catalina Sky Survey, while looking for asteroids. It was checked against known satellites using TLEs, but got no match. And thus it became, temporarily, a candidate space rock. See here for the full story.

INTEGRAL OSA version 10.2 released

10 December 2015 The ISDC has released INTEGRAL Offline Scientific Analysis Software (OSA) version 10.2. The main improvements of version 10.2 over version 10.1 are updated instrument calibrations. The new software is available for download from the ISDC.

Snow-cleaning for the INTEGRAL Mission

13 November 2015 With a winter storm coming in and temperature not solid under 0 degrees, a layer of snow builds-up at the ESTRACK KIR-1 antenna at Salmijärvi, Kiruna. The M&O team is using the new acquired "Cherry Picker" to manually clean the reflector surface to ensure INTEGRAL will not miss a bit of its valuable scientific data.

Happy birthday INTEGRAL!

17 October 2015 Thirteen years ago, on 17 October 2002 at 6:41 CEST, the INTEGRAL observatory was launched from Baikonur. Today, it still remains in excellent health and continues to observe the gamma-ray and X-ray sky.


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