NASA is making final preparations to launch its Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, NuSTAR. The goal of this mission, which will use X-ray vision to search for hidden black holes, ultra-dense neutron stars, and supernova remnants, is scheduled to launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean anytime after June 13.
NuSTAR will be the first space telescope of its kind to forge focused images of cosmic X-rays with the highest energies. These are the same types of X-rays that doctors use to see your bones and airports use to search your bags. The telescope will have more than 10 times the resolution, and more than 100 times the sensitivity of any other telescope operating in a similar energy range.
Researching all different types of black holes, NuSTAR will aim to answer questions about the formation and physics behind these wonders of the cosmos. The observatory will also investigate how exploding stars create the elements that make up planets and people, and it will even help us learn about our own sun's atmosphere.
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Solar Spring is underway. Most of the U.S. will gain 15-20 minutes of daylight per week for the next three months.
Check sky conditions for Saturday morning right before sunrise when the crescent moon teams up with Mercury and Venus to form a celestial triangle.
As the moon fades to a thin crescent by Saturday, it will be a beautiful sight in the predawn sky as it moves by the planets. Check your sky conditions forecast here for Saturday, when the thin crescent moon joins Mercury and Venus.
The moon passes through the string of morning planets this week. It will be near Mars Monday at its first quarter phase. By Saturday morning, it will be a very thin crescent on the horizon near Mercury and Venus.
Jupiter, one of the brightest objects in the sky, rises alongside the moon tonight. Check out this impressive show and check the viewing conditions for your location. Also, read more about the planet and its role in the five visible morning planets.
Check out sky cover conditions for viewing Comet Catalina as it is as close to earth this weekend as it will very be. Plus, a look at Europe and Asia viewing conditions.