In 2016, NASA delivered three types of detectors developed for Ultraviolet (UV), Near UV (NUV), and Near Infrared (NIR) applications to several different projects involving on-sky observations. Development of these charge-coupled devices (CCDs) required several new processes formulated by NASA. Successful observations using the new CCDs validated detector performance, and next the Agency plans to refine these detectors for use in suborbital flight. The high efficiency and stable response of these CCDs make them ideal for astronomy applications, and each is tailored for a different type of observation.
Scientists analyzing the first data from the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission have found two stars that revolve around each other every 38 minutes — about the time it takes to stream a TV drama. One of the stars in the system, called IGR J17062–6143 (J17062 for short), is a rapidly spinning, superdense star called a pulsar. The discovery bestows the stellar pair with the record for the shortest-known orbital period for a certain class of pulsar binary system.
Astronomers have discovered evidence for thousands of black holes located near the center of our Milky Way galaxy using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Imagine standing on the roof of a building in Los Angeles and trying to point a laser so accurately that you could hit a particular building in San Diego, more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away. This accuracy is required for the feat that a novel technology demonstration aboard the soon-to-launch Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission will aim to achieve. For the first time, a promising technique called laser ranging interferometry will be tested between two satellites.