INTEGRAL Latest News


Update to standard PICsIT time resolution

26 January 2024 As of revolution 2662 (2023-07-12) the standard PICsIT time resolution of the spectral timing mode (S8) has been increased to 3.9ms (previously 7.8ms). This increase will improve the science return for bright and short events such as magnetar flares (like the recent one reported by Mereghetti et al., 2023, arXiv: 2312.14645) and GRBs or compact objects. The data will continue to be binned into 8 bins, with the following energy ranges (all in keV): 208–260, 260-312, 312-364, 364-468, 468-572, 572-780, 780,1196 and 1196–2600.

To accommodate this change within the telemetry limits, the PICsIT histogram mode (S7.0/7.1) has been deactivated. The change is transparent to the observers and no change in data reduction procedure is foreseen.

INTEGRAL AO-21 general programme approved

18 January 2024 The INTEGRAL AO-21 General Programme, as recommended by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) and approved by ESA's Director of Science (Prof. Carole Mundell), has been released and the observers have been informed. The programme can be found here.

Blast from the past: gamma-ray burst strikes Earth from distant exploding star

15 November 2023 An enormous burst of gamma rays, detected by ESA's Integral space telescope, has struck Earth. The blast caused a significant disturbance in our planet's ionosphere. Such disturbances are usually associated with energetic particle events on the Sun but this one was the result of an exploding star almost two billion light-years away. Analysing the effects of the blast could provide information about the mass extinctions in Earth's history. Read more about it here:

Happy 21st birthday, INTEGRAL!

17 October 2023 On 17 October 2002 INTEGRAL was launched into space! That means ESA's most sensitive gamma-ray observatory to date is 21 years old and still operating today! Happy Launch Anniversary Day!

Furthermore, the final call for proposals for INTEGRAL concluded successfully on September 29th. Details can be found in the dedicated newsletter.

INTEGRAL's final call for Guest Observing time, AO-21, is open

4 September 2023 Today, the ESA Director of Science (Prof. Carole Mundell) released the 21st Announcement of Opportunity (AO-21) for observing proposals with INTEGRAL.

This announcement solicits proposals for observations to be carried out from January 2024. Proposers from all over the world are welcome to participate. All proposals will be subject to an independent peer review by the INTEGRAL Time Allocation Committee (TAC). The deadline for proposal submission is Friday 29 September 2023, 14:00 CEST.

This is the last AO for INTEGRAL and therefore the last chance to benefit from this special observatory and its unique capabilities. New INTEGRAL proposers are welcome, and some information especially targeting newcomers can be found in this 7-page brochure INTEGRAL's final AO: Capabilities and Science Highlights.

More information can be found on the AO-21 page.

Last ToO observations during August 2023

30 August 2023

Swift J1727.8-1613: Initially designated as GRB230824A (GCN#34536, GCN#34537, ATel#16205, and Atel#16206), it has been promptly monitored in a multiwavelength campaign and confirmed, via optical observations (ATel#16208), to be a low mass X-ray binary hosting a black hole candidate. The X-ray flaring behaviour (ATel#16207) was already compared to that of V404 Cyg by the NiCER team. INTEGRAL has started monitoring this unique event that is reaching levels above 7 Crab in Swift/BAT. Details of the multiwavelength campaign on this target can be checked at SMARTNet.

4U 1630-47: It is a low mass x-ray binary with a black hole companion and has been active already for a year (ATel #15575, ATel #15924, ATel #15988). It started to flare on August 2023, with a SWIFT/BAT flux in the range 0.1-0.4 Crab and it was detected by INTEGRAL on 13th August above 200 keV. We have been observing the target since 26th August with the goal to better characterize its state transitions and its behaviour above 200 keV.

TOMASO BELLONI † (1961-2023)

29 August 2023 We regret to hear that Prof. Tomaso Belloni (INAF-Osservatorio di Brera), passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, 26 August. He has been a great addition to the INTEGRAL Project, by serving in the INTEGRAL Users Group (2007-2010) and in the INTEGRAL Time Allocation Committee, as well as being a frequent user of INTEGRAL time. His contributions to X-ray astronomy, especially to his niche of (black-hole) X-ray binaries, are of greatest importance. He will be therefore thoroughly missed. May he rest in peace.


INTEGRAL Newsletter #30 is out

18 August 2023 In this issue:

  • Handing over to a new INTEGRAL Project Scientist

Read the newsletter here

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