NASA Launches Black Hole-Hunting Telescope
NASA’s hunting season has just begun, as the U.S. space agency launched its Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) spacecraft into orbit on a quest for black holes. 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.