Astroparticle Physics Laboratory (661) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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NASA's Swift Helps Tie Neutrino to Star-shredding Black Hole

02.22.2021
For only the second time, astronomers have linked an elusive particle called a high-energy neutrino to an object outside our galaxy. Using ground- and space-based facilities, including NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, they traced the neutrino to a black hole tearing apart a star, a rare cataclysmic occurrence called a tidal disruption event.

NASA Missions Unmask Magnetar Eruptions in Nearby Galaxies

01.13.2021
On April 15, 2020, a brief burst of high-energy light swept through the solar system, triggering instruments on many NASA spacecraft. Scientists think the blast came from a supermagnetized stellar remnant located in a neighboring galaxy.

NASA Missions Help Investigate an "Old Faithful" Active Galaxy

01.12.2021
Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful geyser regularly blasts a jet of boiling water high in the air. Now, an international team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic equivalent, a distant galaxy that erupts roughly every 114 days.

NASA Discoveries, R&D, Moon to Mars Exploration Plans Persevere in 2020

12.21.2020
"NASA has impressed the nation with our resilience and persistence during the pandemic," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA Missions Help Pinpoint the Source of a Unique X-ray, Radio Burst

11.04.2020
A supermagnetized stellar remnant known as a magnetar blasted out a mix of X-ray and radio signals never observed before. This unique event links magnetars to a phenomenon called fast radio bursts (FRBs) – mysterious, powerful, and usually solitary radio emissions emanating from other galaxies.

NASA’s Partnership Between Art and Science: A Collaboration to Cherish

09.14.2020
NASA has long used art to represent everything from abstract astrophysical concepts to presentations of satellites in orbit.

NASA Missions Explore a ‘TIE Fighter’ Active Galaxy

08.25.2020
Not so long ago, astronomers mapped a galaxy far, far away using radio waves and found it has a strikingly familiar shape. In the process, they discovered the object, called TXS 0128+554, experienced two powerful bouts of activity in the last century.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Techniques Employed for New Gamma-ray Detector

08.03.2020
NASA astrophysicists and engineers are adapting detectors used by earthbound supercolliders and creating them the same way electronics companies produce all modern consumer devices, including cell phones and laptops.

Runaway Star Might Explain Black Hole's Disappearing Act

07.16.2020
The telltale sign that the black hole was feeding vanished, perhaps when a star interrupted the feast. The event could lend new insight into these mysterious objects.

In Planet Formation, It's Location, Location, Location

05.28.2020
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are finding that planets have a tough time forming in the rough-and-tumble central region of the massive, crowded star cluster Westerlund 2.

NASA Telescope Named For ‘Mother of Hubble’ Nancy Grace Roman

05.20.2020
NASA is naming its next-generation space telescope currently under development, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), in honor of Nancy Grace Roman, NASA’s first chief astronomer, who paved the way for space telescopes focused on the broader universe.

AAS Names 29 NASA-Affiliated Legacy Fellows

04.30.2020
Twenty-nine scientists working at or affiliated with NASA have been named Fellows of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the major organization of professional astronomers in North America.

NASA’s Swift Satellite Celebrates 15 Years of Multiwavelength Science

04.28.2020
On Nov. 20, 2004, NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory took to the skies aboard a Delta 7320 rocket and entered orbit around Earth.

NASA’s Swift Mission Tallied Water From Interstellar Comet Borisov

04.27.2020
For the first time, NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory tracked water loss from an interstellar comet as it approached and rounded the Sun.

NASA Missions Help Reveal the Power of Shock Waves in a Nova Explosion

04.13.2020
Unparalleled observations of a nova outburst in 2018 by a trio of satellites, including two NASA missions, have captured the first direct evidence that shock waves powered most of the explosion's visible light.

New NASA Podcast Helps Listeners Explore Our ‘Curious Universe’

04.06.2020
NASA’s newest podcast is taking listeners on an adventure to explore the wonders of Earth and help unravel the mysteries of the universe.

NASA Science Keeps the Lights On

04.02.2020
Across NASA’s many missions, thousands of scientists, engineers, and other experts and professionals all over the country are doing what they do best, but now from home offices and via video conferencing. With most personnel supporting missions remotely to keep onsite staff at a minimal level in response to COVID-19, the Agency is moving ahead strongly with everything from space exploration to using our technology and innovation to help inform policy makers.

NASA Selects Proposals to Study Volatile Stars, Galaxies, Cosmic Collisions

03.16.2020
NASA has selected proposals for four missions that would study cosmic explosions and the debris they leave behind, as well as monitor how nearby stellar flares may affect the atmospheres of orbiting planets.

Statement on NASA Goddard’s Coronavirus Prep Actions

03.13.2020
Goddard has canceled all non-mission-essential visits to its facilities. Goddard also is closing its Visitor Centers at Greenbelt and at Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

NASA’s Fermi Mission Links Nearby Pulsar’s Gamma-ray ‘Halo’ to Antimatter Puzzle

12.19.2019
NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered a faint but sprawling glow of high-energy light around a nearby pulsar. If visible to the human eye, this gamma-ray “halo” would appear about 40 times bigger in the sky than a full Moon.

Hubble Studies Gamma-Ray Burst With Highest Energy Ever Seen

11.20.2019
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers a peek at the location of the most energetic outburst ever seen in the universe — a blast of gamma-rays a trillion times more powerful than visible light. That’s because in a few seconds the gamma-ray burst (GRB) emitted more energy than the Sun will provide over its entire 10-billion year life.

NASA’s Fermi, Swift Missions Enable a New Era in Gamma-ray Science

11.20.2019
Two distant explosions first detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory have produced the highest-energy light yet seen from these events, called gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).

NASA’s TESS Mission Spots Its 1st Star-shredding Black Hole

09.26.2019
​For the first time, NASA’s planet-hunting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) watched a black hole tear apart a star in a cataclysmic phenomenon called a tidal disruption event. Follow-up observations from other instruments have produced the most detailed look yet at the early moments of one of these star-destroying occurrences.

NASA’s WFIRST Will Help Uncover Universe’s Fate

09.13.2019
NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope will launch in the will explore how dark energy has affected the universe's expansion in the past, which will let us foresee its possible fate.

Moon Glows Brighter Than Sun in Images From NASA's Fermi

08.15.2019
If our eyes could see gamma rays, the Moon would appear brighter than the Sun! That's how NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has seen our neighbor in space for the past decade. These gamma-ray observations are a reminder that astronauts on the Moon will require protection from the same cosmic rays that produce this high-energy gamma radiation.

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