NASA’s NuSTAR mission (a mission to search for black holes in the universe.) is scheduled to launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean on June 13, no earlier than 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT). The observatory, which will hunt for black holes and other exotic objects using specialized X-ray eyes, will be launched from a Pegasus XL rocket carried by an Orbital Science Corporation L-1011 “Stargazer” plane. The plane will take off from Kwajalein Atoll an hour before launch, flying out over the Pacific Ocean.
NASA believes it’s spotted the dappled light of the first objects in the universe with the best precision yet. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists have observed a lumpy infrared glow that could be coming from wildly massive stars or voracious black holes. The observations help confirm the first objects were numerous in quantity and furiously burned cosmic fuel. As said Alexander Kashlinsky of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center these objects would have been tremendously bright.
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is being prepared for the final journey to its launch pad on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. The mission will study everything from massive black holes to our own sun. It is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 13. The observatory is perched atop an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket. If the mission passes its Flight Readiness Review on June 1, the rocket will be strapped to the bottom of an aircraft, the L-1011 Stargazer, also operated by Orbital, on June 2.
The Herschel Space Observatory has shown galaxies with the most powerful, active black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes. The results are the first to demonstrate black holes suppressed galactic star formation when the universe was less than half its current age. Herschel is a European Space Agency-led mission with important NASA contributions. Supermassive black holes, weighing as much as millions of suns, are believed to reside in the hearts of all large galaxies.
For the first time, astronomers have identified a stellar victim of a giant black hole, an unlucky star whose death may ultimately provide more clues on the inner workings of the enigmatic gravitational monster that devoured it. Supermassive black holes are objects millions to billions times the sun’s mass that lurk in the hearts of most galaxies. They lay quietly until victims, such as stars, wander close enough to get shredded apart by their extraordinarily powerful gravitational pull.
The discovery, made by astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, provides new insight into the nature of a mysterious class of black holes that can produce as much energy in X-rays as a million suns radiate at all wavelengths. Researchers used Chandra to discover a new ultraluminous X-ray source, or ULX. These objects give off more X-rays than most binary systems, in which a companion star orbits the remains of a collapsed star.
Cosmic rays are charged subatomic particles that streak to Earth from deep in outer space. A few rare cosmic rays are extraordinarily powerful, with energies up to 100 million times greater than any attained by human-made particle colliders, such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The sources of these cosmic rays are a mystery. According to study co-author Francis Halzen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, principal investigator at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a massive telescope designed to find the tiny subatomic particles nature is capable of accelerating elementary particles to macroscopic energies.
With the help the data collected by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) astronomers are actively hunting a class of supermassive black holes throughout the universe called blazars. The mission has revealed more than 200 blazars.Blazars are among the most energetic objects in the universe. They consist of supermassive black holes actively “feeding,” or pulling matter onto them, at the cores of giant galaxies.
New study finds that supernova explosions and the jets of a monstrous black hole are scattering a galaxy’s star-making gas like a cosmic leaf blower. The findings, which relied on ultraviolet observations from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer and a host of other instruments, fill an important gap in the current understanding of galactic evolution. It has long been known that gas-rich spiral galaxies like our oun smash together to create elliptical galaxies such as the one observed in the study.