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NASA releases image of X-ray Sky

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

This map of the entire sky in X-rays was recorded by NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), a payload on the International Space Station. NICER’s primary science goals require that it target and track cosmic sources as the station orbits Earth every 93 minutes. But when the Sun sets and night falls on the orbital outpost, the NICER team keeps its detectors active while the payload slews from one target to another, which can occur up to eight times each orbit. The heart of the instrument is an aligned collection of 56 Amptek silicon drift detectors (SDD) with C Series Windows and X-ray “concentrator” optics (XRC) pairs.