I See You!

Well, at least that is the hope.  Today, NASA launched the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array( NuStar) black-hole hunter into space.  As the name implies, a hunt’n for black holes we go.

NuSTAR images are expected to be “10 times crisper and a hundred times more sensitive than any we’ve had of the cosmos to date,” said Fiona Harrison, the principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology. “This will enable NuSTAR to study some of the hottest, densest, and most energetic phenomenon in the universe.”

“One of NuSTAR’s primary science goals is to study black holes (and) the extreme physics, the fascinating physics that occurs very close to the black hole where spacetime is severely distorted and particles are accelerated close to the speed of light,” Harrison said. “And also to understand how black holes are distributed throughout the universe.”

I think the coolest aspect is the use of the Pegasus XL rocket.  The Pegasus is launched from an aircraft, or more appropriately, dropped like a bomb.  Then, after a short delay, the booster rockets kick in and off to space they go.

This was the 31st launch of a Pegasus XL rocket.  Overall, Pegasus rockets have launched more than 70 satellites since 1990, with 27 successful missions in a row over the past 15 years.  They aren’t telling us what happened to the unsuccessful missions, but I am sure we can all guess:


Sometimes, I understand why NASCAR is so popular.

– Ex astris, scientia –


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