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The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) High-energy X-Ray Mission

Harrison, Fiona A. and Cook, W. Rick and Forster, Karl and Grefenstette, Brian W. and Madsen, Kristin K. and Mao, Peter H. and Miyasaka, Hiromasa and Rana, Vikram R. and Bellm, Eric C. and Bhalerao, Varun and Fuerst, Felix and Walton, Dominic J. and Baloković, Mislav and Ogle, Patrick M. (2013) The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) High-energy X-Ray Mission. Astrophysical Journal, 770 (2). Art. No. 103. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/770/2/103.

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The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, launched on 2012 June 13, is the first focusing high-energy X-ray telescope in orbit. NuSTAR operates in the band from 3 to 79 keV, extending the sensitivity of focusing far beyond the ~10 keV high-energy cutoff achieved by all previous X-ray satellites. The inherently low background associated with concentrating the X-ray light enables NuSTAR to probe the hard X-ray sky with a more than 100-fold improvement in sensitivity over the collimated or coded mask instruments that have operated in this bandpass. Using its unprecedented combination of sensitivity and spatial and spectral resolution, NuSTAR will pursue five primary scientific objectives: (1) probe obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity out to the peak epoch of galaxy assembly in the universe (at z ≾ 2) by surveying selected regions of the sky; (2) study the population of hard X-ray-emitting compact objects in the Galaxy by mapping the central regions of the Milky Way; (3) study the non-thermal radiation in young supernova remnants, both the hard X-ray continuum and the emission from the radioactive element ^(44)Ti; (4) observe blazars contemporaneously with ground-based radio, optical, and TeV telescopes, as well as with Fermi and Swift, to constrain the structure of AGN jets; and (5) observe line and continuum emission from core-collapse supernovae in the Local Group, and from nearby Type Ia events, to constrain explosion models. During its baseline two-year mission, NuSTAR will also undertake a broad program of targeted observations. The observatory consists of two co-aligned grazing-incidence X-ray telescopes pointed at celestial targets by a three-axis stabilized spacecraft. Deployed into a 600 km, near-circular, 6° inclination orbit, the observatory has now completed commissioning, and is performing consistent with pre-launch expectations. NuSTAR is now executing its primary science mission, and with an expected orbit lifetime of 10 yr, we anticipate proposing a guest investigator program, to begin in late 2014.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Grefenstette, Brian W.0000-0002-1984-2932
Madsen, Kristin K.0000-0003-1252-4891
Miyasaka, Hiromasa0000-0002-8074-4186
Rana, Vikram R.0000-0003-1703-8796
Bellm, Eric C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Bhalerao, Varun0000-0002-6112-7609
Fuerst, Felix0000-0003-0388-0560
Walton, Dominic J.0000-0001-5819-3552
Ogle, Patrick M.0000-0002-3471-981X
Additional Information:© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 January 22; accepted 2013 April 4; published 2013 May 30. This work was supported under NASA No. NNG08FD60C and made use of data from the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, a project led by Caltech, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Additional support for development was provided by the National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark. The Malindi ground station is provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and support for science software development by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC). Science team members acknowledge support from Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) (D.B., M.B.), the NASA Postdoctoral Program D.R.W.), Leverhulme Research Fellowship and Science and Technology Facilities Council (D.M.A), NSF AST (D.R.B.), U.S. DOE/LLNL (W.W.C., M.P., J.V.), NSERC, CIFAR, FQRNT, and Killam Research Fellowship (V.K.). We thank David Burrows (PSU) for useful comments which improved the quality of the manuscript.
Group:NuSTAR, Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Technical University of Denmark National Space InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Leverhulme TrustUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies (FQRNT)UNSPECIFIED
Killam Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:space vehicles: instruments; X-rays: general
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2014-44
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130724-143120220
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) High-energy X-Ray Mission Fiona A. Harrison, William W. Craig, Finn E. Christensen, Charles J. Hailey, William W. Zhang, Steven E. Boggs, Daniel Stern, W. Rick Cook, Karl Forster, Paolo Giommi, Brian W. Grefenstette, Yunjin Kim, Takao Kitaguchi, Jason E. Koglin, Kristin K. Madsen, Peter H. Mao, Hiromasa Miyasaka, Kaya Mori, Matteo Perri, Michael J. Pivovaroff, Simonetta Puccetti, Vikram R. Rana, Niels J. Westergaard, Jason Willis, Andreas Zoglauer, Hongjun An, Matteo Bachetti, Nicolas M. Barrière, Eric C. Bellm, Varun Bhalerao, Nicolai F. Brejnholt, Felix Fuerst, Carl C. Liebe, Craig B. Markwardt, Melania Nynka, Julia K. Vogel, Dominic J. Walton, Daniel R. Wik, David M. Alexander, Lynn R. Cominsky, Ann E. Hornschemeier, Allan Hornstrup, Victoria M. Kaspi, Greg M. Madejski, Giorgio Matt, Silvano Molendi, David M. Smith, John A. Tomsick, Marco Ajello, David R. Ballantyne, Mislav Baloković, Didier Barret, Franz E. Bauer, Roger D. Blandford, W. Niel Brandt, Laura W. Brenneman, James Chiang, Deepto Chakrabarty, Jerome Chenevez, Andrea Comastri, Francois Dufour, Martin Elvis, Andrew C. Fabian, Duncan Farrah, Chris L. Fryer, Eric V. Gotthelf, Jonathan E. Grindlay, David J. Helfand, Roman Krivonos, David L. Meier, Jon M. Miller, Lorenzo Natalucci, Patrick Ogle, Eran O. Ofek, Andrew Ptak, Stephen P. Reynolds, Jane R. Rigby, Gianpiero Tagliaferri, Stephen E. Thorsett, Ezequiel Treister, and C. Megan Urry doi:10.1088/0004-637X/770/2/103
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39563
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:24 Jul 2013 22:01
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:45

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