The Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR Mission

Current Activity:

Current time (UT): 2017-11-20 15:26:12
NICER most recent pointing: LONG_IDLE From: 2017-11-20T15:26:10 until: 2017-11-20T16:26:20
Next pointing: Crab_cross_1 At: 2017-11-20T16:26:20 until: 2017-11-20T16:26:39

NICER Activities

NICER Significant Events

Early Post-Launch NICER activities

  • July 13 Begin Science Program
  • June 21-July 12 Initial calibration and hardware commissioning
  • June 17 NICER uses Raster scan of Serpens X-1 to determine X-ray instrument and star tracker alignment
  • June 14 NICER is powered up, NICER is deployed, NICER range of motion is verified by robotic camera
  • June 12-13 NICER is installed on the ISS ELC2
  • June 11 2017 NICER is extracted from the Dragon trunk
Latest News
  • NICER ATEL: Observation of Fast X-ray Flares in GX 339-4 (06 Oct 2017)
    NICER observed the black hole binary GX339-4 which is currently in outburst. The average hard color (4-12 / 2-4 keV) is near 0.5 or higher, which is harder than the value for Crab (0.25). These results are consistent with the report that GX339-4 is in a faint black hole hard state (Gandhi et al., Atel 10820).
  • NICER First ATEL: The Hard X-ray transient MAXI J1535-571 (22 Sep 2017)
    NICER has observed the hard X-ray transient MAXI J1535-571 several times from 2017 September 9 through September 20. The source had a NICER count rate ranging from 3,200 to 17,000 counts per second over this interval. NICER detects a set of low-frequency QPOs in a 1:2 frequency ratio, while the time-averaged spectrum shows broadened iron emission and puts constraints on the black hole spin parameter and the inclination of the accretion disk.
  • NICER Featured on "Science in Seconds" (08 Sep 2017)
    NICER was featured on "Science in Seconds" a short introduction to NICER, with NASA Associate Administrator Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen and Dr. Rita Sambruna, NICER program scientist.
  • NICER Press Release: Observations of PSR B1919+21 (02 Aug 2017)
    NICER's science observations have begun. One of the first targets observed was PSR B1919+21, the first pulsar identified 50 years ago by Jocelyn Bell and Anthony Hewish.
  • NICER First Light (17 Jul 2017)
    NASA's new Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission to study the densest observable objects in the universe has begun science operations. To date, NICER has observed over 40 celestial targets to calibrate the X-ray Timing Instrument and supporting star-tracker camera. The observations also validated the payload's performance that will enable its key science measurements.

[More NICER News]