What's left after a star explodes?
To help find out, NASA
Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
(NuSTAR) satellite into Earth orbit last week.
NuSTAR's ability to focus hard
emitted from the nuclei of atoms will be used, among other things, to inspect the surroundings of
supernova remnants so as to better understand why these supernovas occurred,
what types of objects resulted, and what mechanisms make their surroundings glow so hot.
NuSTAR will also give humanity
unprecedented looks at the
hot corona of our Sun, hot gasses in
clusters of galaxies,
supermassive black hole in the
center of our Galaxy.
Pictured above is an artist's illustration depicting how
X-rays similar to those used in your dentist's office enter the telescope on the right and
skip off two sets of
that focus them onto the detectors on the left.
A long but low-weight mast separates the two, and the
is powered by solar panels on the upper left.
Part of the excitement involving
is not only what things it is expected to see, but by
looking at the universe in a new way, what things that are completely unknown
that might be discovered.
has a planned two year lifetime.