NICER Science Nuggets


Each week, the NICER team summarizes important scientific activities or results utilizing data from the NICER mission.

Here are past Science Nuggets listed by topic. A chronological index is also available.


Accreting Black Hole Systems:

  • 21 October 2021: Ironing Out a Black Hole Binary
  • 14 October 2021: NICER Evidence of a Black-hole Disk Wind
  • 23 September 2021: NICER Collaborates on a Spectral and Variability Study of the Blazar Prototype BL Lacertae
  • 08 July 2021: NICER Connects the Dots in Accretion States of Black Hole Binaries
  • 24 June 2021: NICER Observes the Brightest Black Hole Transient in Over a Decade
  • 03 June 2021: NICER Captures the Likely Launch of a Wind by a Supermassive Black Hole
  • 01 April 2021: The Transition of GX 339-4
  • 25 March 2021: NICER teams up with multi-wavelength facilities to study the Galactic black hole system MAXI J1820+070
  • 18 March 2021: NICER Captures the Formation of an X-ray "Corona" around a Supermassive Black Hole after it Shreds a Star
  • 18 February 2021: A Changing Look for NICER<
  • 11 February 2021: NICER studies a Black Hole Binary in Outburst
  • 21 January 2021: A Blazar Blazing
  • 22 October 2020: Coordinated Blazar
  • 24 September 2020: NICER observes a very bright X-ray flare from an accreting supermassive black hole 400 Million Years Ago
  • 17 September 2020: NICER reveals that the X-ray transient MAXI J1348-630 is a Likely Black Hole X-ray binary
  • 23 July 2020: NICER Finds a Black Hole in MAXI J1727-203
  • 09 July 2020: Type-B QPO detected in NICER observation of MAXI J1348-630
  • 11 June 2020: Paper examines link between outbursts and reflares in transient LMXBs
  • 12 March 2020: X-ray flaring in MAXI J1820+070 probes emission near black hole
  • 20 February 2020: Modeling "reflected" X-rays in NICER data for Low Mass X-ray Binaries
  • 30 January 2020: NICER observes the unusual black hole binary MAXI J0637-430
  • 23 January 2020: NICER catches a "Changing-Look AGN" in then process of changing
  • 06 February 2020: Earth's shadow provides viewing window for V4641 Sgr
  • 16 January 2020: Highest frequency QPOs seen by NICER to date reported from EXO 1846-031
  • 05 December 2019: Simultaneous X-ray and Optical observations of MAXI J1820+070
  • 21 November 2019: Recent flaring in GRS 1915+105 shows unusual spectral signature
  • 17 October 2019: Recent AGN flare a member of a new class of transients
  • 29 August 2019: Peering into a clouded black hole
  • 20 June 2019: Observations of X-ray variability used to map accretion disk in Fairall 9
  • 23 May 2019: Rapid flare from GRS 1915+105 displays remarkable spectral features
  • 17 May 2019: Record-low flux reported for black-hole binary GRS 1915+105
  • 11 April 2019: NICER Observations of the Recurrent Black Hole Transient, XTE J1908+094
  • 28 March 2019: State transition and radio flare in MAXI J1820+070
  • 05 October 2018: The 2018 outburst of MAXI J1820+070 as seen with NICER
  • 28 June 2018: NICER observes 4U 1630-47, a black hole with frequent outbursts
  • 15 June 2018: X-ray emission line reveals warped disk in MAXI J1535-571
  • 07 June 2018: NICER observes unusual variability in GRS 1915+105
  • 17 May 2018: NICER/NuSTAR joint fit helps clarify spectrum of MAXI J1535-571
  • 03 May 2018: PhD thesis finds QPO in NICER data of MAXI J1535-571
  • 01 December 2017: Variability characteristics of black-hole binary GRS 1915+105
  • 20 October 2017: NICER observes X-ray flares from Cygnus X-1
  • 22 September 2017: NICER sees a MAXI black hole

Accreting Neutron Star Systems:

  • 25 November 2021: NICER Takes the Pulse of an SMC BeXRB
  • 28 October 2021: NICER Monitors an X-ray Pulsar Giant Outburst in Decline
  • 30 September 2021: Neutron-Star Spin-up in a "Giant" Outburst
  • 26 August 2021: MAXI Triggers NICER Observations of a Superburst's After-effects
  • 29 July 2021: NICER Tracks Recovery from a Long-duration Thermonuclear Burst on a Neutron Star
  • 15 July 2021: NICER Confirms a Neutron Star Resides in the Historical X-ray Binary 4U 1730-22
  • 25 February 2021: NICER TOO Observation of 2S 1553-542
  • 04 February 2021: NICER constrains the nature of the companion star in IGR J17494-3030
  • 28 January 2021: NICER observes thermonuclear bursts with secondary peaks from the low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1608-52
  • 14 January 2021: NICER Tracks Giant Outburst of X-ray Binary 1A 0535+262 to Completion
  • 07 January 2021: The Burning Atmosphere
  • 26 November 2020: Brightest Outburst from A0535
  • 19 November 2020: Unstable Burning
  • 29 October 2020: NICER discovers a new millisecond pulsar in an ultracompact orbit
  • 02 July 2020: A long-duration X-ray burst from IGR J17062-6143
  • 25 June 2020: eROSITA points NICER to a rare X-ray binary outburst in the Large Magellanic Cloud
  • 18 June 2020: Short-duration milliHertz QPO seen in 4U 1636-53
  • 28 May 2020: Recent MAXI alert likely triggered by accreting X-ray binary MAXI J0911-655
  • 21 May 2020: B(e) X-ray binary system GRO J1008-57 caught in an outburst
  • 30 April 2020: The NICER-NuSTAR view of the Neutron Star Low-mass X-ray Binary 4U 1735-44
  • 09 April 2020: NICER observes an outburst of the Rapid Burster
  • 19 March 2020: Thermonuclear X-ray bursts reveal that Swift J1858.6-0814 hosts a neutron star
  • 27 February 2020: NICER detects Type 1 X-ray bursts from XTE J1739-285
  • 19 December 2019: NICER sees bright pulsar in Magellanic bridge
  • 28 November 2019: NICER discovers 9.29 sec pulsations in RX J0209.6-7427
  • 31 October 2019: NICER detects multiple bursts from neutron star MAXI J1807+132
  • 24 October 2019: NICER discovers pulsations from new transient Swift J1845.7-0037
  • 03 October 2019: NICER seeks detection of periodicity from re-awakened XTE J1739-285
  • 26 September 2019: An evolving broad iron line from the first Galactic ultraluminous X-ray pulsar, Swift J0243.6+6124
  • 19 September 2019: Unexpected changes detected in burst behavior from SAX J1808.4-3658
  • 12 September 2019: SAX J1808.4-3658 delayed-helium bursts seen in exquisite detail
  • 15 August 2019: NICER observes a secondary peak in a thermonuclear burst from 4U 1608-52
  • 08 August 2019: NICER tracks a new outburst from SAX J1808.4-3658
  • 18 July 2019: NICER and NuSTAR simultaneously catch four X-ray bursts from 4U 1636-536
  • 27 June 2019: NICER puts a magnifying glass on a rare outburst from an accreting pulsar
  • 13 June 2019: NICER X-rays the photosphere of a neutron star's companion
  • 09 May 2019: Establishing IGR 17379-3747's large magnetic axis inclination
  • 14 March 2019: X-ray burst shows evidence of gravitational redshifting from neutron star
  • 07 March 2019: NICER takes part in a large multiwavelength campaign on Sco X-1
  • 20 December 2018: Brightening in Circinus X-1 reveals outflowing wind
  • 14 December 2018: NICER demonstrates readiness to provide long-term timing for unusual accreting pulsar
  • 20 September 2018: Accreting MSP IGR J17591-2342 continues to brighten
  • 30 August 2018: NICER and NuSTAR jointly discover that IGR J17591-2342 is in a binary system
  • 16 August 2018: NICER discovers oscillatory nuclear burning in LMXP GS 1826-238
  • 26 July 2018: Rarely visible accreting pulsar observed in 2018 outburst
  • 05 July 2018: NICER observes unusual burst oscillations in 4U 1728-34
  • 21 June 2018: Joint NICER/GBM observations of the first Galactic ULX pulsar
  • 01 June 2018: NICER detects a soft X-ray kilohertz QPO in 4U 0614+09
  • 10 May 2018: A NICER look at the Aql X-1 hard state
  • 26 April 2018: Pulsar and orbital periodicities discovered in IGR J17062-6143
  • 19 April 2018: NICER detects multiple "reflection" features in the low-mass X-ray binary Serpens X-1
  • 12 April 2018: NICER discovers a new pulsar in IGR J17379-3747
  • 05 April 2018: NICER sees an accreting millisecond pulsar
  • 16 March 2018: Oscillations detected in the rise phase of a Type I X-ray burst
  • 09 February 2018: Spectral timing of Aquila X-1
  • 02 February 2018: NICER observes rare short-recurrence X-ray bursts
  • 23 January 2018: Intensity changes in the observed pulsed flux from Swift J0243.6+6124
  • 21 December 2017: Marginally-stable burning observed in the LMXB system GS 1826-24
  • 27 October 2017: NICER helps determine orbit of newly-discovered neutron star
  • 13 October 2017: NICER sees neutron star superexpansion burst in unprecedented detail

Other Accreting Systems:

Rotation-powered Pulsars:

  • 7 October 2021: NICER Enables New Limits on Gravitational-wave Emission from Mountains on Neutron Stars
  • 17 June 2021: Limiting Pulsar Mountains
  • 13 May 2021: Parity Purity
  • 22 April 2021: Determining the Stiffness of Neutron Stars
  • 15 April 2021: Unlocking a secret of the Crab Pulsar with NICER/ISS and ground-based telescopes
  • 01 October 2020: NICER discovers the long-term decay of a millisecond pulsar's orbit
  • 27 August 2020: Return of the Big Glitcher: NICER timing and glitches of PSR J0537-6910
  • 02 April 2020: NICER watches as the Moon blocks the Crab pulsar
  • 05 March 2020: NICER results on PSR J0030+0451 prompt further studies
  • 13 February 2020: New paper shows profile shifts in PSR J0218+4232
  • 12 December 2019: First NICER Key Science results released
  • 10 October 2019: New X-ray pulsars point to the future of pulsar physics
  • 11 July 2019: NICER's first neutron star radius measurement to be submitted soon
  • 21 February 2019: High-precision X-ray timing of three millisecond pulsars with NICER
  • 28 September 2018: X-ray observations of PSR B0656+14 show multiple emission components
  • 13 September 2018: NICER improves understanding of pulsars seen only in X-rays
  • 06 September 2018: MSP timing stability rivals ground-based radio telescopes
  • 03 August 2018: Pulsar X-ray light curves give insight to key NICER science goal
  • 18 January 2018: PSR J0030+0451 pulsations as seen by XMM-Newton and NICER
  • 12 January 2018: Millisecond pulsar detected for the first time in X-rays
  • 03 November 2017: X-ray pulsations discovered from PSR J1231-1411
  • 06 October 2017: Pulsar J0030+0451 light curve collected by NICER

Magnetars & Soft Gamma Repeaters:

  • 11 November 2021: NICER Hones In On the Origin of Short Bursts from Magnetars
  • 16 September 2021: NICER Monitoring of a New Magnetar Explores its Unusually Long-Lived Activity
  • 10 June 2021: A new magnetar, Swift J1555.2-5402, confirmed and monitored with NICER
  • 12 November 2020: NICER confirmation of the magnetar nature of SGR 1830-0645: Spindown, spectra, and short bursts
  • 05 November 2020: FR/GR/B
  • 15 October 2020: Taking the Pulse of a Magnetar
  • 10 September 2020: A NICER View of the 2020 outburst of PSR J1846-0258
  • 03 September 2020: NICER Observations of Swift J1818.0-1607: a Missing Link between Magnetars and Rotation-Powered
  • 07 May 2020: NICER detection of the burst forest from the magnetar SGR 1935+2154
  • 26 March 2020: A new magnetar, Swift J1818.0-1607, offers clues to neutron star evolution
  • 15 February 2019: A new outburst from magnetar XTE J1810-197
  • 19 October 2018: Rapid follow-up of bright, short bursts from SGR 1806-20
  • 01 March 2018: NICER detects changes in magnetar 1E 1048.9-5937

Other stars & Solar System Bodies:

Follow-up of New Transients:

  • 02 September 2021: NICER & Friends Uncover a Pulsar Orbit
  • 22 July 2021: NICER Glimpses a Newborn Compact Object 200 million Light Years Away
  • 27 May 2021: Successful Application of NICER's New Sky Scanning Capability
  • 06 May 2021: X-ray quasi-periodic eruptions from two previously quiescent galaxies
  • 29 April 2021: NICER Discovers Pulsations from MAXI J0903-531
  • 11 March 2021: A NICER First Look at the New X-ray Transient IGR J17533-2928
  • 24 December 2020: A star ripped apart?
  • 13 August 2020: A Pulsar in Transition?
  • 16 July 2020: NICER Observations of Stellar Death by Black Hole
  • 07 November 2019: MAXI points NICER to a new brightening source
  • 05 September 2019: NICER makes its first detection of a GRB afterglow
  • 01 August 2019: EXO 1846-031 reawakens after 34-year silence
  • 30 May 2019: NICER sees X-rays from star in another galaxy getting ripped apart
  • 18 April 2019: NICER Observations of a Possible SN 1a: AT2019daj
  • 04 April 2019: Follow-up of MAXI triggers provides new insight into transient events
  • 31 January 2019: NICER follows up on a bonanza of MAXI-discovered Galactic black hole systems
  • 17 January 2019: Combined X-ray data uncovers a new class of transient AGN flares
  • 15 November 2018: Observations of new X-ray transient show intense flaring episodes
  • 08 November 2018: Unexplained X-ray transient event in active galaxy observed by NICER
  • 24 May 2018: Target of Opportunity observations of new transient ASASSN-18el
  • 22 March 2018: Quasi-periodic oscillation detected in new transient MAXI 1820+070
  • 29 September 2017: Periodic variations in a MAXI black hole candidate

XTI Instrumental Studies:

SEXTANT Results:

NICER Mission: