NASA’s NuSTAR reaches orbit
Wednesday, NASA launched the NuSTAR satellite from a high altitude aircraft over the Pacific.
The Pegasus rocket was dropped from the wing of the plane and shot up into the sky, with a successful insertion of the satellite into orbit.
NASA’s latest X-ray telescope separated from the rocket and spread its solar panels in its orbit about 350 miles up.
It’s scheduled to operate for at least two years and look for collapsed stars and black holes, including at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Some active galaxies have jets of particles that scientists assume are coming from black holes. The NuSTAR will look at those. It will also examine young (relatively speaking) supernova remnants to see what elements are created when a star explodes and look for clues as to why a star explodes.
The telescope will have 10 to 100 times better resolution than previous observatories, including Chandra and XMM.
And if a supernova is noticed, astronomers will aim NuSTAR to the incident.