Author Topic: NASA's NuSTAR Gearing up for Launch  (Read 846 times)

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Rick

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NASA's NuSTAR Gearing up for Launch
« on: May 23, 2012, 08:59:01 »
NASA's NuSTAR Gearing up for Launch

Final pre-launch preparations are underway for NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. The mission, which will use X-ray vision to hunt for hidden black holes, is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 13 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The observatory will launch from the belly of Orbital Sciences Corporation's L-1011 "Stargazer" aircraft aboard the company's Pegasus rocket.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-142

Rick

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NuSTAR Delivers the X-Ray Goods
« Reply #1 on: Aug 30, 2013, 08:36:34 »
NuSTAR Delivers the X-Ray Goods

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is giving the wider astronomical community a first look at its unique X-ray images of the cosmos. The first batch of data from the black-hole hunting telescope is publicly available today, Aug. 29, via NASA's High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center, or HEASARC.

"We are pleased to present the world with NuSTAR's first look at the sky in high-energy X-rays with a true focusing telescope," said Fiona Harrison, the mission's principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

The images, taken from July to August 2012, shortly after the spacecraft launched, comprise an assortment of extreme objects, including black holes near and far. The more distant black holes are some of the most luminous objects in the universe, radiating X-rays as they ferociously consume surrounding gas. One type of black hole in the new batch of data is a blazar, which is an active, supermassive black hole pointing a jet toward Earth. Systems known as X-ray binaries, in which a compact object such as a neutron star or black hole feeds off a stellar companion, are also in the mix, along with the remnants of stellar blasts called supernovas.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-264

Rick

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NASA's NuSTAR Telescope Discovers Shockingly Bright Dead Star
« Reply #2 on: Oct 09, 2014, 12:49:39 »
NASA's NuSTAR Telescope Discovers Shockingly Bright Dead Star

Astronomers have found a pulsating, dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. This is the brightest pulsar - a dense stellar remnant left over from a supernova explosion - ever recorded. The discovery was made with NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR.

"You might think of this pulsar as the 'Mighty Mouse' of stellar remnants," said Fiona Harrison, the NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "It has all the power of a black hole, but with much less mass."

The discovery appears in a new report in the Thursday, Oct. 9, issue of the journal Nature.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4328

Rick

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Searing Sun Seen in X-rays (NuSTAR)
« Reply #3 on: Jul 11, 2015, 09:20:09 »
Searing Sun Seen in X-rays (NuSTAR)

X-rays light up the surface of our sun in a bouquet of colors in this new image containing data from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. The high-energy X-rays seen by NuSTAR are shown in blue, while green represents lower-energy X-rays from the X-ray Telescope instrument on the Hinode spacecraft, named after the Japanese word for sunrise. The yellow and red colors show ultraviolet light from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

NuSTAR usually spends its time investigating the mysteries of black holes, supernovae, and other high-energy objects in space. But it can also look closer to home to study our sun.

"We can see a few active regions on the sun in this view," said Iain Hannah of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, who presented the image today, July 8, at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales. "Our sun is quieting down in its activity cycle, but still has a couple of years before it reaches a minimum."

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4653

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NuSTAR Finds New Clues to 'Chameleon Supernova'
« Reply #4 on: Feb 17, 2017, 09:30:20 »
NuSTAR Finds New Clues to 'Chameleon Supernova'

"We're made of star stuff," astronomer Carl Sagan famously said. Nuclear reactions that happened in ancient stars generated much of the material that makes up our bodies, our planet and our solar system. When stars explode in violent deaths called supernovae, those newly formed elements escape and spread out in the universe.

One supernova in particular is challenging astronomers' models of how exploding stars distribute their elements. The supernova SN 2014C dramatically changed in appearance over the course of a year, apparently because it had thrown off a lot of material late in its life. This doesn't fit into any recognized category of how a stellar explosion should happen. To explain it, scientists must reconsider established ideas about how massive stars live out their lives before exploding.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6723

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NuSTAR Helps Solve 'Rapid Burster' Mystery
« Reply #5 on: Feb 17, 2017, 09:34:16 »
NuSTAR Helps Solve 'Rapid Burster' Mystery

Scientists observing a neutron star in the "Rapid Burster" system may have solved a 40-year-old mystery surrounding its puzzling X-ray bursts.

Discovered in the 1970s, the Rapid Burster is a binary system comprising a low-mass star in its prime and a neutron star -- the compact remnant of a massive star's demise. The gravitational pull of the neutron star strips its companion of some of its gas, which then forms an accretion disk and spirals toward the neutron star.

Most neutron star binary systems continuously release large amounts of X-rays, punctuated by additional X-ray flashes every few hours or days. But scientists have wondered for decades about what accounts for the Rapid Burster's sudden, erratic and extremely intense X-ray emissions -- a phenomenon seen only in one other binary system.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6732

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NuSTAR Helps Find Universe's Brightest Pulsars
« Reply #6 on: Mar 04, 2017, 09:07:23 »
NuSTAR Helps Find Universe's Brightest Pulsars

There's a new record holder for brightest pulsar ever found -- and astronomers are still trying to figure out how it can shine so brightly. It's now part of a small group of mysterious bright pulsars that are challenging astronomers to rethink how pulsars accumulate, or accrete, material.

A pulsar is a spinning, magnetized neutron star that sweeps regular pulses of radiation in two symmetrical beams across the cosmos. If aligned well enough with Earth, these beams act like a lighthouse beacon -- appearing to flash on and off as the pulsar rotates. Pulsars were previously massive stars that exploded in powerful supernovae, leaving behind these small, dense stellar corpses.

The brightest pulsar, as reported in the journal Science, is called NGC 5907 ULX. In one second, it emits the same amount of energy as our sun does in three-and-a-half years. The European Space Agency's XMM-Newton satellite found the pulsar and, independently, NASA's NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission also detected the signal. This pulsar is 50 million light years away, which means its light dates back to a time before humans roamed Earth. It is also the farthest known neutron star.

More: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6760

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NuSTAR Spots Temperature Swings of Black Hole Winds
« Reply #7 on: Mar 04, 2017, 09:08:28 »
NuSTAR Spots Temperature Swings of Black Hole Winds

For the first time, scientists have measured rapidly varying temperatures in hot gas emanating from around a black hole. These ultrafast "winds" are created by disks of matter surrounding black holes.

More: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6762

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Andromeda's Bright X-Ray Mystery Solved by NuSTAR
« Reply #8 on: Mar 24, 2017, 09:58:09 »
Andromeda's Bright X-Ray Mystery Solved by NuSTAR

The Milky Way's close neighbor, Andromeda, features a dominant source of high-energy X-ray emission, but its identity was mysterious until now. As reported in a new study, NASA's NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission has pinpointed an object responsible for this high-energy radiation.

The object, called Swift J0042.6+4112, is a possible pulsar, the dense remnant of a dead star that is highly magnetized and spinning, researchers say. This interpretation is based on its emission in high-energy X-rays, which NuSTAR is uniquely capable of measuring. The object's spectrum is very similar to known pulsars in the Milky Way.

It is likely in a binary system, in which material from a stellar companion gets pulled onto the pulsar, spewing high-energy radiation as the material heats up.

More: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6789

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NuSTAR Probes Puzzling Galaxy Merger
« Reply #9 on: Apr 05, 2017, 10:21:14 »
NuSTAR Probes Puzzling Galaxy Merger

A supermassive black hole inside a tiny galaxy is challenging scientists' ideas about what happens when two galaxies become one.

Was 49 is the name of a system consisting of a large disk galaxy, referred to as Was 49a, merging with a much smaller "dwarf" galaxy called Was 49b. The dwarf galaxy rotates within the larger galaxy's disk, about 26,000 light-years from its center. Thanks to NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, scientists have discovered that the dwarf galaxy is so luminous in high-energy X-rays, it must host a supermassive black hole much larger and more powerful than expected.

"This is a completely unique system and runs contrary to what we understand of galaxy mergers," said Nathan Secrest, lead author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.

More: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6794