This image shows a neutron star -- the core of a star that exploded in a massive supernova. This particular neutron star is known as a pulsar because it sends out rotating beams of X-rays that sweep past Earth like lighthouse beacons.
NuSTAR Captures the Beat of a Dead Star (Animation)
The brightest pulsar detected to date is shown in this frame from an animation that flips back and forth between images captured by NASA's NuSTAR. A pulsar is a type of neutron star, the leftover core of a star that exploded in a supernova.
This chart illustrates relative masses of super-dense cosmic objects, ranging from white dwarfs to supermassive black holes encased in the cores of most galaxies. The first three 'dead' stars (left) all form when stars more massive than our sun explode.
The comparison from NASA's Hubble telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory highlights how different the universe can look when viewed in other wavelengths of light. M82 is located 12 million light-years away in the Ursa Major constellation.
The blue dot in this image marks the spot of an energetic pulsar -- the magnetic, spinning core of star that blew up in a supernova explosion. NASA's NuSTAR discovered the pulsar by identifying its telltale pulse.
The images at the top of this graphic represent two popular models describing how stars blast apart. The models point to different triggers of the explosion. Jet-driven models are illustrated with an artist's concept shown at left.
NuSTAR has provided the first observational evidence in support of a theory that says exploding stars slosh around before detonating. That theory, referred to as mild asymmetries, is shown here in a simulation by Christian Ott.
A massive star (left), which has created elements as heavy as iron in its interior, blows up in a tremendous explosion (middle), scattering its outer layers in a structure called a supernova remnant (right).
When astronomers first looked at images of a supernova remnant called Cassiopeia A, captured by NASA's NuSTAR. The mystery of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a massive star that exploded in a supernova more than 11,000 years ago continues to confound scientists.
This diagram illustrates why NASA's NuSTAR can see radioactivity in the remains of exploded stars for the first time. The observatory detects high-energy X-ray photons that are released by a radioactive substance called titanium-44.
This is the first map of radioactivity in a supernova remnant, the blown-out bits and pieces of a massive star that exploded. The blue color shows radioactive material mapped in high-energy X-rays using NASA's NuSTAR.
A range of supermassive black holes lights up this new image from NASA's NuSTAR. All of the dots are active black holes tucked inside the hearts of galaxies, with colors representing different energies of X-ray light.
The magenta spots in this image from NASA's NuSTAR show two black holes in the spiral galaxy called NGC 1313, or the Topsy Turvy galaxy, located about 13 million light-years away in the Reticulum constellation.