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 2018 by the 2016 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 Guest Observer (GO) Cycle 5 (13 Dec 2018)
    The due date for NuSTAR Cycle 5 proposal submission is Jan 25, 2019. Proposals should be submitted via the HEASARC's ARK Remote Proposal System (RPS). New in Cycle 5 are the opportunity to propose for large programs and and the opportunity for joint observations with NICER. For more information about this cycle, please visit the NuSTAR Proposal page.
  • NuSTAR CALDB Update (22 Oct 2018)
    The NuSTAR CALibration DataBase was updated on October 22, 2018 (CALDB version 20181022). This updates the NuSTAR clock correction file to version 86, valid through 2018-10-22.
  • NuSTAR and NICER Identification of X-ray Transient IGR J17591-2342 (17 Aug 2018)
    Observations by NICER and NuSTAR of the X-ray transient IGR J17591-2342 discovered by INTEGRAL on August 12 show that the new transient is an accreting millisecond pulsar in outburst. The pulsar has a spin frequency of approximately 527 Hz and an orbital period of 0.37 days.
  • NuSTAR CALDB Update (15 Aug 2018)
    The NuSTAR CALibration DataBase was updated on August 15, 2018 (CALDB version 20180814). This updates the NuSTAR clock correction file to version 84, valid through 2018-08-14.
  • NuSTAR Cycle 4 Results (19 Apr 2018)
    The list of NuSTAR targets accepted by the Cycle 4 peer review is now available. Cycle 4 observations will start to be routinely performed on June 1, 2018. Written evaluations will be sent to all NuSTAR Cycle 4 PIs in the next few weeks.

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