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June 12, 2017 - Far-out X-Rays

Far-out X-Rays  Five years ago this week, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray (NuSTAR) was launched. X-ray telescopes such as Chandra and XMM-Newton observe the universe at low X-ray energy levels, but NuSTAR is the first Earth-orbiting telescope able to focus and observe “hard” high-energy X-rays. In this image of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant, NuSTAR data, which show high-energy X-rays from radioactive material (such as titanium-44), are colored blue. Lower-energy X-rays from non-radioactive material, imaged previously with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, are shown in red, yellow and green. By mapping radioactive elements in Cassiopeia A, astronomers get a direct look at what happened in the core of the star when it was blasted to smithereens.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / CXC / SAO

Weekly Calendar

June 12-18, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 12

Mercury 5° north of Aldebaran

1967: Venera 4 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 13

1831: James Clerk Maxwell born
1974: National Space Society founded
1983: Pioneer 10 leaves solar system, begins traveling in interstellar space
2010: Hayabusa spacecraft returns first asteroid samples to Earth
2012: NuSTAR X-Ray telescope launched

Moon phase Wednesday 14

Flag Day

1967: Mariner 5 launched
1975: Venera 10 launched
1985: Vega 2 deploys lander and balloon on Venus

Moon phase Thursday 15

Saturn at opposition

1971: First Titan III-D rocket launch
2010: Soyuz TMA-19 launched carrying ISS Expedition 24/25 crew

Moon phase Friday 16

Neptune 0.7° north of Moon
Neptune appears stationary

1963: Vostok 6 launched; Valentina Tereshkova first woman in space, still the only solo spaceflight by a woman
2012: Shenzhou 9 launched, fourth Chinese human space flight

Moon phase Saturday 17

Last Qtr Moon 7:33 AM ET

1985: STS-51G Discovery launched

Moon phase Sunday 18

Father's Day

1799: William Lassell born
1983: STS-7 Challenger launched; Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space
2009: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched

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