A NuSTAR in the sky

A Pegasus XL rocket successfully placed the NuSTAR satellite in orbit today. NuSTAR will observe the universe in the high-energy X-ray band, which earth-based observatories cannot do because the earth’s atmosphere filters out radiation at those wavelengths.

Image

Artist’s concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has a 10-m (30′) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left). The spacecraft, which controls NuSTAR’s pointings, and the solar panels are with the focal plane. NuSTAR has two identical optics modules in order to increase sensitivity. The background is an image of the Galactic center obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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