NuSTAR is Busy

An optical color image of galaxies is seen here overlaid with X-ray data (magenta) from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An optical color image of galaxies is seen here overlaid with X-ray data (magenta) from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Since NuSTAR was launched on June 13, 2012 it has moved into its parking spot been checked out and has found 10 supermassive galaxies already. The mission is really just hitting its stride and is expected to last two years. We are just beginning to get a look at the data.

During the two year mission, as part of its core mission, NuSTAR will map selected regions of the sky in order to:

Take a census of collapsed stars and black holes of different sizes by surveying regions surrounding the center of own Milky Way Galaxy and performing deep observations of the extragalactic sky;

Map recently-synthesized material in young supernova remnants to understand how stars explode and how elements are created; and
Understand what powers relativistic jets of particles from the most extreme active galaxies hosting supermassive black holes.

From the NASA NuSTAR Mission page home to among other things different sizes and un-annotated version:

NuSTAR’s serendipitous discovery in this field, indicated by the arrow, lies to the left of a galaxy, called IC751, at which the telescope originally intended to look. Both magenta blobs show X-rays from massive black holes buried at the hearts of galaxies.
The optical image is from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and a color composite of images over three different optical wavebands (the G, R, and I bands). The NuSTAR data shows X-rays in the 3 to 24 keV energy range.

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