Media Relations Specialist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
News Release • February 20, 2019
In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion galaxy, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour surrounding material. These two monsters should be the most luminous X-ray sources in sight, but a new study using observations from NASA's NuSTAR mission shows that a much smaller object is competing with the two behemoths.
News Release • January 10, 2019
A brief and unusual flash spotted in the night sky on June 16, 2018, puzzled astronomers and astrophysicists across the globe. The event - called AT2018cow and nicknamed "the Cow" after the coincidental final letters in its official name - is unlike any celestial outburst ever seen before, prompting multiple theories about its source.
News Release • July 3, 2018
A new study using data from NASA's NuSTAR space telescope suggests that Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years of Earth, is accelerating particles to high energies - some of which may reach our planet as cosmic rays.
News Release • October 30, 2017
Black holes are famous for being ravenous eaters, but they do not eat everything that falls toward them. A small portion of material gets shot back out in powerful jets of hot gas, called plasma, that can wreak havoc on their surroundings. Along the way, this plasma somehow gets energized enough to strongly radiate light, forming two bright columns along the black hole's axis of rotation. Scientists have long debated where and how this happens in the jet.
News Release • May 9, 2017
Black holes get a bad rap in popular culture for swallowing everything in their environments. In reality, stars, gas and dust can orbit black holes for long periods of time, until a major disruption pushes the material in.
News Release • March 27, 2017
A supermassive black hole inside a tiny galaxy is challenging scientists' ideas about what happens when two galaxies become one. Thanks to NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, scientists have discovered that the dwarf galaxy is so luminous in high-energy X-rays, it must host a supermassive black hole much larger and more powerful than expected.
News Release • March 23, 2017
The Milky Way's close neighbor, Andromeda, features a dominant source of high-energy X-ray emission, but its identity was mysterious until now. As reported in a new study, NASA's NuSTAR mission has pinpointed an object responsible for this high-energy radiation.
News Release • March 1, 2017
For the first time, scientists have measured rapidly varying temperatures in hot gas emanating from around a black hole. These ultrafast "winds" are created by disks of matter surrounding black holes.
News Release • February 28, 2017
There's a new record holder for brightest pulsar ever found -- and astronomers are still trying to figure out how it can shine so brightly. It's now part of a small group of mysterious bright pulsars that are challenging astronomers to rethink how pulsars accumulate, or accrete, material.
News Release • January 24, 2017
"We're made of star stuff," astronomer Carl Sagan famously said. Nuclear reactions that happened in ancient stars generated much of the material that makes up our bodies, our planet and our solar system. When stars explode in violent deaths called supernovae, those newly formed elements escape and spread out in the universe.
News Release • January 7, 2017
Monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes. But they give themselves away when material they feed on emits high-energy X-rays that NASA's NuSTAR mission can detect. That's how NuSTAR recently identified two gas-enshrouded supermassive black holes, located at the centers of nearby galaxies.
News Release • May 7, 2015
NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has found evidence that a massive star exploded in a lopsided fashion, sending ejected material flying in one direction and the core of the star in the other.
News Release • April 30, 2015
The sun's surface is blisteringly hot at 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit -- but its atmosphere is another 300 times hotter. This has led to an enduring mystery for those who study the sun: What heats the atmosphere to such extreme temperatures? Normally when you move away from a hot source the environment gets cooler, but some mechanism is clearly at work in the solar atmosphere, the corona, to bring the temperatures up so high.
News Release • April 29, 2015
Peering into the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array has spotted a mysterious glow of high-energy X-rays that, according to scientists, could be the "howls" of dead stars as they feed on stellar companions.
News Release • February 19, 2015
NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array and ESA’s XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions -- a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now.
News Release • January 8, 2015
A new high-energy X-ray image from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has pinpointed the true monster of a galactic mashup. The image shows two colliding galaxies, collectively called Arp 299, located 134 million light-years away. Each of the galaxies has a supermassive black hole at its heart.
News Release • November 13, 2014
The giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way may be producing mysterious particles called neutrinos. If confirmed, this would be the first time that scientists have traced neutrinos back to a black hole. The evidence for this came from three NASA satellites that observe in X-ray light: the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Swift gamma-ray mission, and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array.
News Release • October 8, 2014
Astronomers have found a pulsating, dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. This is the brightest pulsar - a dense stellar remnant left over from a supernova explosion - ever recorded. The discovery was made with NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR.
News Release • August 12, 2014
NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has captured an extreme and rare event in the regions immediately surrounding a supermassive black hole. A compact source of X-rays that sits near the black hole, called the corona, has moved closer to the black hole over a period of just days.
News Release • May 22, 2014
The 2014 NASA astrophysics division senior review panel has ranked NuSTAR second among the nine operating missions that were considered for extended operations. NASA has responded to the independent panels recommendations by approving continued operations through 2016 including the implementation of a Guest Observer Program that will begin in 2015. Details about the program will be available this summer.