NuSTAR Bringing the High Energy Universe into Focus


High-Energy X-rays Fill Center of our Galaxy


This picture from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, NuSTAR, shows the very center of our Milky Way galaxy. The intense light near the center of the X-ray picture is coming from a spinning dead star, called a pulsar, which is near our galaxy's central supermassive black hole. While the pulsar's X-ray emissions were known before, scientists were surprised to find more high-energy X-rays than predicted in the surrounding regions, seen here as the elliptical haze.

Astronomers aren't sure what the sources of the extra X-rays are, but one possibility is a population of dead stars.

The NuSTAR image has an X-ray energy range of 20 to 40 kiloelectron volts.