Artwork • April 6, 2023
In this illustration of an ultra-luminous X-ray source, two rivers of hot gas are pulled onto the surface of a neutron star. Strong magnetic fields, shown in green, may change the interaction of matter and light near neutron stars’ surface, increasing how bright they can become.
Artwork • April 6, 2023
In this illustration of an ultra-luminous X-ray source, two rivers of hot gas are pulled onto the surface of a neutron star. Strong magnetic fields, may change the interaction of matter and light near neutron stars’ surface, increasing how bright they can become.
Artwork • December 20, 2022
A disk of hot gas swirls around a black hole in this illustration. The stream of gas stretching to the right is what remains of a star that was pulled apart by the black hole. A cloud of hot plasma (gas atoms with their electrons stripped away) above the black hole is known as a corona.
Artwork • June 17, 2020
This illustration shows magnetic field lines protruding from a highly magnetic neutron star, or a dense nugget left over after a star goes supernova and explodes. Known as magnetars, these objects generate bright bursts of light that might be powered by their strong magnetic fields.
Artwork • May 22, 2020
Artists concept of a neutron star (the bright white star) surrounded by an accretion disk of material that it has stripped of its low-mass companion star (top left). This material shines in X-rays as it falls onto the neutron star during "outbursts" of extremely bright X-ray activity.
Observation • February 20, 2019
Bright green sources of high-energy X-ray light captured by NASA's NuSTAR mission are overlaid on an optical-light image of the Whirlpool galaxy (the spiral in the center of the image) and its companion galaxy, M51b (the bright greenish-white spot above the Whirlpool), taken by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
Observation • July 3, 2018
The NuSTAR detection shows that shock waves in the wind collision zone accelerate charged particles like electrons and protons to near the speed of light. Some of these may reach Earth, where they will be detected as cosmic ray particles. X-rays scattered by debris ejected in Eta Carinae's famous 1840 eruption may produce the broader red emission.
Observation • July 28, 2016
The blue dots in this field of galaxies, known as the COSMOS field, show galaxies that contain supermassive black holes emitting high-energy X-rays. The black holes were detected by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Array, or NuSTAR, which spotted 32 such black holes in this field and has observed hundreds across the whole sky so far.
Artwork • July 12, 2016
This artist's impression depicts the accretion disc surrounding a black hole, in which the inner region of the disc precesses. "Precession" means that the orbit of material surrounding the black hole changes orientation around the central object.