The High Energy Year: 2020
Credit: M. F. Corcoran

2020 Hindsight

The year 2020 was certainly a globally difficult one for earth-bound humans. Nevertheless, high energy astrophysics made dramatic strides, with appropriate social distancing of course. The centerpiece was the release of the first image of the high energy Universe by the eROSITA telescope on the Spektr-RG satellite observatory from its lonely perch at the L2 point. Also of note was the discovery of the big black hole which swallowed the little one, the first observation of a mass-mismatched merger, an important clue showing how nature might build supermassive black holes from tiny ones. We remembered Dr. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, the scientist who showed us how hydrogen stitches the Universe together, and her needlepoint of an X-ray image of the Cas-A supernova remnant. We marked the tenth anniversary of the extraordinary solar studies by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. We saw big blowouts and golden mergers and acquisitions, played with the Fermi spirograph, were warned by the red mask, and saw outstandingly artistic views of black holes. Looking forward to seeing you next year.
Published: December 28, 2020

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Monday, 04-Jan-2021 12:26:40 EST