Hunting Black Holes With High-Energy X-Ray Telescope
Less than an hour after being flung out of the Earth’s atmosphere the advanced telescope was reportedly safely on its intended course and already prepping for its two-year mission to study the universe’s black holes and remnants of supernova explosions.
With a fundamentally new, high-energy X-ray telescope, NASA will be able to see “the hottest, densest, and more energetic objects,” with more high-definition images than ever before, according to Fiona Harrison, the NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology.
One of the first targets for the $165 million NuSTAR observatory is Cygnus X-1, a black hole in our own galaxy, according to William Craig, NuSTAR instrument manager at the University of California at Berkeley. The local black hole acts as a perfect point source for scientists to check the clarity of its images, Craig told according to Space.com.
“With NuSTAR, we’ll be able to image the sky, read the story and understand things like how galaxies form, and how black holes grow,” Harrison said during a Monday press briefing.