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NuSTAR probe snaps ten "supermassive" black holes

The magenta glow in this NASA release shows X-ray emissions, the key to detecting black holes. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The magenta glow in this NASA release shows X-ray emissions, the key to detecting black holes. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, September 7, 2013, 9:58 AM -

A little more than a year after launch, NASA's NuSTAR probe is doing what it does best: Spying out our universe's black holes.

NASA announced last week the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array has detected its first ten supermassive black holes, baby steps compared to its mission to figure out how many hundreds (or thousands) of them may lurk in the cosmos.

"We're getting closer to solving a mystery that began in 1962," David Alexander, a member of the NuSTAR team, said in a NASA news release.

Black holes are super-dense objects that are so massive, they pull in everything around them. Famously, even light can't escape the pull, so black hole searchers have to use X-ray emissions to detect them.

NuSTAR's telescopic arm is as long as a school bus. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NuSTAR's telescopic arm is as long as a school bus. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NuSTAR, launched in June 2012, is specifically designed to "see" those X-rays, in greater clarity than ever before.

Read more about the mission here.

And there are plenty of more Earth-based forces of nature in our video gallery.

NASA prepares to launch probe Friday
Bluenose II heads back to the water

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