back to article Final countdown for NASA's NuSTAR X-ray black hole telescope

NASA has confirmed that it is good to go with the delayed launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) on June 13, and expects to begin spying out the supermassive black holes at the heart of galaxies within a month. The $170m telescope will create the first accurate census of the "local" black hole population …

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FAIL

oh no

>Once data starts coming in it'll be fired down to a ground station in Kenya operated by the Italian space agency

Hmm can you spot the weak link already? Hope NASA plans on paying for everything.

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Italy has a space agency?

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Joke

Sure

Haven't you ever heard of a specimen?

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Yes and they even have their own rockets, vega is their newest rocket, mainly built by the Italians with some pan-European help.

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Yes, Italy has a space agency...

From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Marco_programme

"The project resulted in the launch of the first Italian-built satellite, San Marco 1, on December 15, 1964. With this launch Italy became one of the first countries in the world to operate its own satellite, after the Soviet Union and the United States"

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Headmaster

That sub-heading!

Nasa may well hope for 'local supernovas' soon - not _too_ local, hope the rest of humanity.!

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Mushroom

Poor choice of words

Referring to a supernova as a "Big Bang", and saying the most recent supernovae can provide the most information about it, is rather confusing for anyone who's paid attention to cosmology.

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Re: Poor choice of words

Of course, it would be less confusing if you read what he wrote instead of what you claimed he wrote.

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Facepalm

Re: Poor choice of words

Given more comments, perhaps the article has been re-written by the time I read it.

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At the center of each black hole is the event horizon ...

Nope. The event horizon is the outer perimeter of said black hole. The center is, well, in the center.

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Re: At the center of each black hole is the event horizon ...

If you think about what a black hole really is, you'll realize that your description is actually as ridiculous as his. We don't really have words to describe what happens once you pass the event horizon. It is only accurately describable with equations. And we aren't quite sure what they mean on "the other side" of the event horizon where space has negative curvature, assuming of course the equations are continuous and not bounded at the event horizon.

I will grant that the author did not use the usual words seen in literature describing black holes.

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yes, the event horizon is the very outside edge of a black hole.

A singularity is at the centre

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hmmmm

Talking about Event Horizon.... why does the ship look so much like the one from the film namesake.

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Principle Investigator???

I have to wonder what that term means in the context of this experiment because, as others have pointed out above, there seem to be rather a lot of factual or misleading inaccuracies in what she said.

In order of appearance in the article:

"At the center of each black hole is the event horizon..." Umm... at the [debatable] center of a Black Hole (BH) is the singularity. The Event Horizon (EH) isn't, as far as we know, any sort of entity in its own right but is just the distance from the singularity where a number of interesting things happen.

"Einstein predicted that the effects of the event horizon would bend light..." Einstein did not predict that the EH would bend light. He predicted that the presence of matter would bend space-time and that light would appear to bend as it followed a straight path through this bent space-time. The EH, not being something that actually exists in its own right, does not have or cause 'effects'. Rather, the EH is itself an 'effect'.

"NuSTAR is also looking to investigate supernovae, particularly the most recent ones that still retain evidence of what caused the Big Bang" WTF??? This must be a contender for oxymoron of the year. Type 1b, 1c & 2 supernovae require relatively large stars and, because of their size, could not have existed long enough to be relevant to the Big Bang (BB). Type 1a supernovae are believed to involve white dwarf stars and these could conceivably be old enough to be relevant to the BB except that even the very first stars are not thought to have formed until ~400 million years after the BB, well after all the really interesting origin related stuff had been and gone.

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WTF?

Re: Principle Investigator???

"NuSTAR is also looking to investigate supernovae, particularly the most recent ones that still retain evidence of what caused the Big Bang"

When I read that, I assumed that I had missed something where it was hypothesized that supernovae may re-create some aspects of the BB. Tho, the EH at the center of the Black hole bit made me re-consider.

Then again, maybe she's just a horrible speaker, and an awesome researcher.

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Re: Principle Investigator???

Or maybe we just have a horrible author (or editor). The 'scope will obviously be used for both super nova and early cosmology work because that part of the spectrum is ideal for that work.

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Early cosmology relies upon 'old' radiation which, by definition means it has come from a very long way away and radiation that has come from a very long way away will have been red-shifted due to the expansion of the universe. The problem here is that the planck length and time units would appear to set limits on the shortest possible wavelength/highest possible frequency of radiation, so it would seem that X-ray detectors are limited to seeing stuff from within a limited distance, and therefore age.

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