06-13-12, 08:28 PM #1
Telescope designed to shed light on black holes
"NuSTAR operates at X-ray energies that are higher than Chandra or XMM-Newton, so by having NuSTAR we can cover a much broader region of the X-ray spectrum," Harrison said. "NuSTAR is really synergistic with these other X-ray telescopes, but it will be the first to extend sensitivity into the high-energy X-ray band. We can study regions that are hotter, where particles are accelerated very close to the speed of light."
The instrument is designed to home in on the volatile, energetic areas around black holes and the leftovers from stellar supernova explosions.
While black holes themselves are invisible (they are regions where gravity is so strong even light cannot escape), the areas around them are often exceptionally bright, as mass is lured in on its way to being swallowed, and gives up some of its energy in the form of heat and light.
"It's the innermost orbits before the material plunges and is lost forever from view that we're looking at," said NuSTAR 's principal investigator, Fiona Harrison of Caltech, during a Monday news briefing.
06-13-12, 09:05 PM #2
This is all very well, but I think the telescope is unfortunately named. I keep wanting to call it the NUT Star.
06-17-12, 05:07 PM #3
Needs renaming to UnARSU.
Looks like a really bad design, it'll vibrate like crazy, just ask the Russians.
Reminds me of the bad science of towing a satellite behind the shuttle.....
They won't find any anyway, it's a problem with the model, not a prediction.
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