NASA wants to take a closer look at the super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. The black hole emits high-energy x-rays that makes it difficult to observe with current space telescopes.
“The view of the center of our galaxy … is a rather fuzzy image. We think it’s much more complicated,” physicist William Craig of the University of California, Berkeley, said during a NASA press conference Monday.
In order to get a clearer view of the x-ray sky, NASA created a new space telescope called NuSTAR or nuclear spectroscropic telescope array. NuSTAR can significantly contribute in the study of how galaxies, stars and solar systems are formed
“One of NuSTAR’s primary science goals is to study … the extreme physics near black holes, where spacetime is very distorted and particles are accelerated close to the speed of light,” Fiona Harrison, an astrophysicist at Caltech and another NuSTAR team member, said during the press conference. “It will also help us understand how black holes are distributed throughout the universe.”
NASA is using an airplane to launch the telescope to lower the cost of program. A Stargazer airplane, a modified Lockheed aircraft, is used for the launch. As it reached the altitude of 40,000 feet, it will release the rocket carrying the NuSTAR and launch it into orbit.
News source: www.popularmechanics.com