This is an artist’s rendition of the NuSTAR space telescope in orbit. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array was launched on 13 June 2012, at 16:00 UTC. It was originally scheduled for two years of operation, but five years later it’s still going. Fiona Harrison, NuSTAR’s principal investigator, has chosen five of the most iconic images, or artist impressions, gained from the expedition.
The primary scientific goal of the space telescope was to hunt the cosmos for black holes, which is achieved by observing the surrounding high-energy X-ray particles in high resolution. NuSTAR has also observed the elements that are generated in supernova remnants, and by imaging these remnants, NuSTAR has created some fantastic pictures including the one below.
The cosmic destroyer – The Black Hole
This supermassive black hole is millions to billions times the mass of the Sun. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
“This is an artist’s concept of a region very near a black hole,” Harrison said. “It was made to go along with some of our very first results, where we measured the spin of a supermassive black hole unambiguously for the first time. NuSTAR’s high-energy X-ray vision allowed us to distinguish between models that explain ...