Black holes are terrifying and awesome — which pretty much sums up everything about space itself. They do all kinds of crazy things, like spinning around at half the speed of light and launching stars. They also have the capability of bending light, space, and time to their will, which makes them something like the bad-ass mega-villains of the galaxy. Now their antics have been captured by NASA’s NuSTAR telescope.
NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) is to black holes what Rosetta is to comets — a telescope designed specifically to find and harvest data about these cosmic phenomena. NuSTAR’s been in space for just over two years, having completed its primary mission and moving on to an extended mission that involves continued exploration of black holes and pulsars and what they call a “general observer program,” which will allow astronomers not affiliated with NuSTAR to make suggestions for its use, and potentially use it themselves.