NuSTAR is the first focusing hard X-ray satellite in orbit, providing more than two orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity as compared to previous high-energy missions working at similar energies. The primary science goals of NuSTAR are broad, and include studying a range of high-energy sources, including black holes, supernovae explosions, neutron stars, relativistic jets, and the Sun.
Accreting Compact Objects
Accreting compact objects, such as black holes and neutron stars bend and twist space-time, or contain degenerate matter with unique properties. We use X-ray telescopes like NuSTAR (among others) to observe the high-energy emission from these objects in binary systems, in which the compact object is gravitationally tied to a stellar companion.
Ultraluminous X-ray Sources (ULXs) are X-ray binaries in other galaxies undergoing such extreme accretion that they are some of the most luminous X-ray sources in the nearby Universe outside of the centers of galaxies.
There's a whole lot more for NuSTAR to look at beyond accreting compact objects and ULXs alone! Click below to hear about some more of the fascinating topics that our team devote their time to exploring.