The High Energy Year in Review: 2021
Credit: M. F. Corcoran

Looking Back in Wonder

We started the year 2021 with a number of questions. And during the year, we obtained a number of answers. We determined the roundness and squishiness of neutron stars, those tiny, superdense bits left behind when a massive star runs out of fuel and its core collapses. We studied the ever-deepening X-ray sky with the eROSITA telescope on the SRG spacecraft, and connected the dots of the mysterious gamma ray emitting Fermi Bubbles surrounding the center of the Milky Way with similar large-scale X-ray bubbles. We listened in on the mysteries of the high-energy Universe using sound science. We found that the magnetic fields near the supermassive black hole in the active galaxy M87 make accretion disks more like crullers than donuts, and we scaled its heights and depths. Also on the sweet side, we celebrated 10 years of IceCube, Antarctica's cosmic neutrino telescope, with a cool cake. We celebrated the roles data archives play in providing calibrated data in multiple energy bands to the science community and the public at large. We saved INTEGRAL and approved COSI. And near the end of the year, we launched IXPE, which will give us a new slant on the feeding habits of neutron stars and black holes.
Published: December 27, 2021

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Sunday, 02-Jan-2022 17:51:58 EST