NuSTAR launch
Credit: NASA TV

Stargazer and NuSTAR

NASA's latest high energy observatory, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray, or NuSTAR, launched on June 13, 2012. NuSTAR will perform the first high spatial resolution survey of the Universe in the hard X-ray energy band using unique X-ray mirrors along with sophisticated X-ray detectors. NuSTAR's energy range is important because it helps reveal the hidden Universe, especially black holes that may be surrounded by thick disks of accreting material. NuSTAR will also map the chemicals cooked up in supernova explosions, and better define high energy phenomena such as powerful particle jets produced by the nuclei of active galaxies. NuSTAR was launched on a airborne Pegasus launch vehicle carried aboard a special L1011 aircraft called Stargazer. The image above is a sequence showing the release of the Pegasus rocket from the belly of Stargazer.
Published: June 18, 2012

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Sunday, 24-Jun-2012 22:58:59 EDT