X-Ray Mirrors Offer New Window on Cosmos

A NASA orbiting telescope able to view the cosmos through the lens of hard X-rays has launched, and several members of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, a joint SLAC-Stanford University effort, are eager to take in the sights. The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) was developed by a team of scientists and engineers from the California Institute of Technology. It will use an innovative system of nested X-ray mirrors to open a new window onto the cosmos: the high-energy X-ray window. This is the same range of X-ray wavelengths used to image broken bones and scan luggage. NuSTAR's mirrors will collect high-energy X-ray photons emitted by cosmic sources, focusing the light into images ten times sharper and 100 times more sensitive than any previous high-energy X-ray telescope.