Saturday, June 9, 2012

NASA readies to Hunt Black Holes with New Space Telescope

Nasa Black Hole Hunter
The U.S. space group is set to launch a telescope into space June 13 to seek out and learn black holes -- those still-mysterious space bodies that scientists consider lie at the spirit of every massive galaxy, including our own Milky Way.

Black holes have a gravitational pull so intense that not even light can flee from them. As gas, dust and stars are sucked in; the fabric accelerates and heats up, generating powerful X-ray beam emissions.

NASA is setting out to conduct a survey of the black holes in the universe. 

The U.S. space organization is launching a black hole seeker, a new telescope called NuSTAR, but properly known as Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array. 

Paul Hertz is the director of NASA's astrophysics division. "Stars, nebulae and black holes emit X-rays of the type that we use in medical X-rays, and these cannot be detected from the outside of the Earth," explained Hertz.

Current telescopes offer images that show a universal glow from hundreds of massive black holes. NASA expects NuSTAR will be able to offer far improved images of black holes and other high-energy events when it surveys the extra-galactic sky.

NuSTAR launches, it will organize a 10-meter pole that will divide its mirrors from its detectors. That pole provides the distance required to focus the X-ray light into sharp images. 


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