X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory (662) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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Small Satellite, Big Questions: CuPID CubeSat Will Get New Perspective on Sun-Earth Boundary

Launching with Landsat 9, a joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, are four CubeSats – compact, cube-shaped satellites used for space research projects. One of the CubeSats launching with Landsat 9 is the Cusp Plasma Imaging Detector, or CuPID.

NASA's NICER Probes the Squeezability of Neutron Stars

Matter in the hearts of neutron stars - dense remnants of exploded massive stars - takes the most extreme form we can measure. Now, thanks to data from NASA's NICER, an X-ray telescope on the International Space Station, scientists have discovered that this mysterious matter is less squeezable than some physicists predicted.

NASA's NICER Finds X-ray Boosts in the Crab Pulsar's Radio Bursts

Data from NASA's NICER telescope on the International Space Station have revealed X-ray surges accompanying radio bursts from the pulsar in the Crab Nebula. The finding shows that these bursts, called giant radio pulses, release far more energy than previously suspected.

Scientists Sketch Aged Star System Using Over a Century of Observations

Astronomers have painted their best picture yet of an RV Tauri variable, a rare type of stellar binary where two stars -one approaching the end of its life - orbit within a sprawling disk of dust. Their 130-year dataset spans the widest range of light yet collected for one of these systems, from radio to X-rays.

NASA Missions Help Investigate an "Old Faithful" Active Galaxy

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

"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

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

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

Runaway Star Might Explain Black Hole's Disappearing Act

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.

X-rays From a Newborn Star Hint at Our Sun's Earliest Days

Astronomers have reported the first detection of X-rays from the earliest phase of evolution of a star like our Sun.

Future Space Travelers May Follow Cosmic Lighthouses

In the future, space explorers may receive navigational guidance from the steady signals created by pulsars.

AAS Names 29 NASA-Affiliated Legacy Fellows

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

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’

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

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.

Statement on NASA Goddard’s Coronavirus Prep Actions

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 OSIRIS-REx Students Catch Unexpected Glimpse of Newly Discovered Black Hole

Last fall, the student-built Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer onboard OSIRIS-REx detected a newly flaring black hole while observing the limb of asteroid Bennu.

Record-breaking Explosion by Black Hole Spotted

The biggest explosion seen in the universe has been found. This record-breaking, gargantuan eruption came from a black hole in a distant galaxy cluster hundreds of millions of light years away.

NASA’s NICER Delivers Best-ever Pulsar Measurements, 1st Surface Map

​Astrophysicists are redrawing the textbook image of pulsars (the dense, whirling remains of exploded stars) thanks to NICER, an X-ray telescope aboard the International Space Station. NICER data has provided the first precise and dependable measurements of both a pulsar’s size and its mass, and the first-ever map of hot spots on its surface.

X-ray Satellite XMM-Newton Celebrates 20 Years in Space

Two decades ago today the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) launched into orbit. A pioneering satellite for studying the universe with different kinds of light, XMM-Newton has studied over half a million X-ray sources, including supernovae, star-shredding black holes and superdense neutron stars.

NASA's NICER Catches Record-setting X-ray Burst

On Aug. 20, NASA's NICER telescope saw a spike of X-rays from a massive explosion on a pulsar. It's the brightest X-ray burst NICER has seen so far and shows phenomena that have never been seen together in a single burst.

Stars Pollute, but Galaxies Recycle

The FORTIS sounding rocket will launch from the White Sands Missile to observe stars and supernovae as they pump gas into the circumgalactic medium. It's one part of a larger recycling process keeping galaxies alive.

NASA’s Mirror-Making Whiz, William Zhang, Wins Goddard Technology Award

William Zhang won the Goddard Office of the Chief Technologist’s top prize — bestowed annually on those who demonstrate the best in innovation — for his foresight, perseverance, and leadership advancing state-of-the-art X-ray optics.

NASA’s New Lightweight X-ray Mirrors Ready for Try-outs in Space

Recent testing has shown that super-thin, lightweight X-ray mirrors made of a material commonly used to make computer chips can meet the stringent imaging requirements of next-generation X-ray observatories.

Goddard X-Ray Technology Opens New Frontiers In Space And Here On Earth

NASA has selected a breakthrough X-ray technology with diverse applications as the 2019 Government Invention of the Year.

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