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NICER CRS-11 launch

NICER is on its way to the ISS!

The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) launched successfully from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center today at 5:07PM EDT! Check out this spectacular launch: NICER had plenty of company on its ride up to the International Space Station, as the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched with almost 6,000 pounds of cargo including … Continue Reading →


Tod Strohmayer with NICER sample telescope

NICER and Neutron Stars: 5 Questions with Dr. Tod Strohmayer

  • By Barb Mattson
  • June 1, 2017
  • Comments Off on NICER and Neutron Stars: 5 Questions with Dr. Tod Strohmayer

As we’re gearing up for the launch of NICER, we wanted to give our readers a behind-the-scenes look at the mission, its science, and the people who are making it happen. NICER is NASA’s first mission designed specifically for the study of neutron stars, so we are kicking things off … Continue Reading →


NICER payload at Kennedy Space Center

Meet NICER: NASA’s Neutron Star Explorer

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • May 31, 2017
  • Comments Off on Meet NICER: NASA’s Neutron Star Explorer

This white box may not look like much, but it contains a cutting-edge payload that will soon be headed to the International Space Station. The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity dedicated to the study of neutron stars and all of their extraordinary … Continue Reading →


space forensics opening screen

Calling all armchair crime-solvers!

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • March 9, 2016
  • Comments Off on Calling all armchair crime-solvers!

Stars exploding? Who would do such a thing? Join bumbling detective Eagle Quark on his 8-bit adventures at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in our new Space Forensics game! Eagle is somewhat clueless in his hunt for suspects behind the mysterious deaths of stars in the night sky… and he … Continue Reading →


Milky Way Panorama

How Many Stars in the Milky Way?

Recently I was asked to help someone answer the question of how many stars are in the Milky Way – that there were differing answers out there, and which was the right one? This question turns out to have a really interesting (and possibly frustrating?) answer. And the answer is … Continue Reading →


Image credit:
X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN/D.Takei et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA

Cosmic Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July to those of you that celebrate it! We couldn’t let the date slip by without presenting a little display of cosmic fireworks. We think you’ll find they’re much quieter than the earthly kind. We start with this 3D visualization of the nebula Gum 29 with the … Continue Reading →


Credit: Barb Mattson

Eating Eta Car

We recently posted about the gamma-ray novae cake made for a Science as Food competition at a Poster Party here at Goddard. Dr. Barb Mattson also participated in this contest and we caught up with her to find out more about her Eta Carina cake. NASA Blueshift: Can you introduce … Continue Reading →


This is an artistic image of all that is awesome. Credit: NASA/Dana Berry

Final Stop: Magnetars

We have one final blog from past summer intern Jason McCracken, wrapping up his adventures through space. Remember that time when we were all like Oooooh and Aaaaah? I miss those days. Since we began exploring these voids I’ve been starting to get a little bored. I mean look over … Continue Reading →


Nova Centauri 2013

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Nova

Recently those in the Southern Hemisphere were treated to a new sight in the sky – a nova that was so bright it could be seen with the naked eye. Indeed, Nova Centauri 2013 was one of the brightest in years. Image credit: NASA/MSFC/ESSSA/Aaron Kingery What is a nova? It … Continue Reading →


Next Stop: Shooting Stars

Next Stop: Shooting Stars

Last time, we set ourselves up with a nice place to cool off and had a drink or two. And as the evening rolls up, we can lay back with our drinks, dipping our feet in the distant APM 08279+5255 quasar, and watch the universe set. Maybe we can catch a shooting star or … Continue Reading →


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