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 active galaxies.

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 being archived at the HEASARC.

NuSTAR Frequently Asked Questions

NuSTAR Publications List

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 electromagnetic 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 has been observing selected regions of the sky in order to:

  1. 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;

  2. Study the population of hard X-ray-emitting compact objects in the Galaxy by mapping the central regions of the Milky Way;

  3. Study the non-thermal radiation in young supernova remnants (SNR), both the hard X-ray continuum and the emission from the radioactive element 44Ti;

  4. 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

  5. Observe line and continuum emission from core-collapse supernovae in the Local Group, and from nearby Type Ia events, to constrain explosion models.

NuSTAR has been approved to continue operations through 2022 (subject to further extension by the 2022 NASA Astrophysics Senior Review of Operating Missions) and to have a Guest Observer (GO) Program. Further information about GO proposals is available on the NuSTAR Proposals page.

The NuSTAR Users' Committee (NUC) is a group of 5-10 astrophysicists representing a wide range of community interests who provide the NuSTAR project with broad-based input about the needs and priorities of the NuSTAR user community during the extended operational mission phase. The NUC is the primary interface between the NuSTAR community and the NuSTAR project and NASA headquarters and assists the NuSTAR Principal Investigator and Project Scientist during NuSTAR's operational phase and in preparation for future Senior Reviews.

Artist concept of Nustar in orbit

Latest News
  • NuSTAR Cycle 6 now Accepting Proposals (25 Oct 2019)
    The NuSTAR General Observer (GO) Program is soliciting proposals for observations during observing Cycle 6. Phase-1 science proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time January 24, 2020. For more information see the NuSTAR Proposal page.
  • NuSTAR CALDB Update (16 Oct 2019)
    The NuSTAR CALibration DataBase was updated on October 16, 2019 (CALDB version 20191008). This updates the NuSTAR clock correction file to version 96, valid through 2019-10-08.
  • NuSTAR CALDB Update (12 Aug 2019)
    The NuSTAR CALibration DataBase was updated on August 8, 2019 (CALDB version 20190827). This updates the NuSTAR clock correction file to version 95, valid through 2019-08-12.
  • NuSTAR CALDB Update (01 Jul 2019)
    The NuSTAR CALibration DataBase was updated on July 1, 2019 (CALDB version 20190627). This updates the NuSTAR clock correction file to version 94, valid through 2019-06-27.
  • NuSTAR Cycle 5 Results (17 Jun 2019)
    The list of NuSTAR targets recommended by the Cycle 5 peer review is now available. Cycle 5 observations will start to be routinely performed on July 1, 2019. Evaluations will be sent to all NuSTAR Cycle 5 proposal PIs in the next few weeks.

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