What's up Aug 30?

NuSTAR is finally really in science mode - we're planning the observations for the whole month of September.   Its an exciting month.    We'll be looking at a nearby "starburst galaxy" - or a galaxy that is forming stars at an amazing rate - much greater than our Milky Way.   The rate of star formation is so great for a galaxy undergoing a starburst that, if the rate was sustained, the gas reservoirs from which stars are formed would be used up on timescales much shorter than the age of the galaxy.  So, these special galaxies must have something in their recent past that triggers this amazing rate of star formation.    A consequence of forming a lot of stars is that you end up with a lot of black holes and neutron stars, which are the endpoints of massive star formation.   These objects shine in the X-ray band, and in particular extending sensitivity to the high energy X-ray band can tell us about the composition of the population of compact objects (black holes vs. neutron stars) which is interesting for understanding the ratio of high to low mass star formation.

Lots more cool stuff in September - which I'll tell you about in my next blog.

uews© Caltech 2012