Multi-messenger astronomy: the dawn of a new era
The new field of "multi-messenger" astronomy seeks to study the cosmos by combining "traditional" electromagnetic data, with newly available cosmic "messengers". This field came of age in 2017. In August, EM data and gravitational waves were detected from the same event. Just a few weeks later a 290 TeV neutrino was associated with an EM flare from a blazar. In this talk I will overview the challenges involved in multi-messenger astronomy, and how the we have addressed these with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. I will discuss the scientific implications of the GW-EM detection, and the prospects for the future.