The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array Mission - NuSTAR
NASA's latest high-energy astrophysics observatory, NuSTAR, is the first
focusing high-energy X-ray mission, opening the hard X-ray sky above 10 keV
for sensitive study for the first time. During its mission, NuSTAR will
search for black holes, map supernova explosions, and study the most extreme
NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by Caltech and managed by JPL for
NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The NuSTAR Mission web site can be found
here. NuSTAR data are
archived at the HEASARC.
NuSTAR Frequently Asked
Publications List Maintained at Caltech
Introduction to NuSTAR
NuSTAR was launched at 9 am PDT, June 13, 2012 on a Pegasus XL rocket
which was dropped
from a Lockheed L-1011 "TriStar" aircraft flying over the Pacific Ocean near
the Kwajalein Atoll.
NuSTAR is the first mission to use focusing telescopes
to image the sky in the high-energy X-ray (3 - 79 keV) region of the
spectrum. Our view of the universe in this spectral window has been limited
because previous orbiting telescopes have not employed true focusing optics,
but rather have used coded apertures that have intrinsically high backgrounds
and limited sensitivity.
During its two-year primary mission phase, NuSTAR will map selected regions
of the sky in order to:
- Probe obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity out to the peak
epoch of galaxy assembly in the universe (at z <~ 2) by surveying selected
regions of the sky;
- Study the population of hard X-ray-emitting compact objects in the Galaxy
by mapping the central regions of the Milky Way;
- Study the non-thermal radiation in young supernova remnants (SNR), both
the hard X-ray continuum and the emission from the radioactive element
- Observe blazars contemporaneously with ground-based radio, optical, and
TeV telescopes, as well as with Fermi and Swift, so as to constrain the
structure of AGN jets; and
- Observe line and continuum emission from core-collapse supernovae in the
Local Group, and from nearby Type Ia events, to constrain explosion models.
- Do Black Holes Come in Size Medium? (02 Dec 2013)
In the stockroom of our cosmos, black holes come in size small and large. NASA's NuSTAR is helping to find our more about why medium-sized black holes are missing.
- New NuSTAR Public Data Release (26 Nov 2013)
New NuSTAR data were released to the public NuSTAR archive on November 25. NuSTAR data are accessible via the usual HEASARC archive interfaces, i.e., Xamin and Browse, specifically by querying the NuSTAR master table (numaster). NuSTAR data can also be accessed from the HEASARC FTP site. NuSTAR calibration data are available from the HEASARC CALDB.
- NuSTARDAS v1.3.0 Released (25 Nov 2013)
Released November 25, 2013; NuSTARDAS v1.3.0 was included in the HEASOFT 6.15 release . Note that nustardas v 1.3.0 requires version 20131007 of the NuSTAR CALDB.
- NuSTAR CALDB Update: Version 20131007 (25 Nov 2013)
The NuSTAR CALibration DataBase was updated on November 25, 2013 (CALDB version 20131007). Because of the large size of some calibration files, for NuSTAR data processing and analysis we recommend downloading the NuSTAR CALDB and installing it locally, rather than accessing the NuSTAR CALDB at the HEASARC remotely.
- NuSTAR Catches Black Holes on the Fly (06 Sep 2013)
NASA's black-hole-hunter spacecraft, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has "bagged" its first 10 supermassive black holes, the first of hundreds expected from the mission over the next two years. NuSTAR, which has a mast the length of a school bus, is the first telescope capable of focusing the highest-energy X-ray light into detailed pictures.
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