Unraveling the Mysteries of Black Holes
Peering into supermassive black holes and picking through the remains of exploded stars is among the detective work the NuSTAR telescope performs. Launched in June 2012, the comparatively small telescope uses high energy x-rays to penetrate dust and gas to get a clear look at some of the densest, hottest regions of the universe, says Fiona Harrison. She’s the astrophysicist who developed NuSTAR and serves as the principal investigator of its NASA mission. NuSTAR recently caught a black hole in the act of blurring x-ray light. Harrison discusses how this and other new findings on the nature of black holes are shaping our understanding of how the universe formed.
Fiona Harrison is the Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.