Astrophysics Branch

Marshall Space Flight Center's Astrophysics Branch uses space and ground-based observatories to peer back to the earliest epochs of the universe, unravel its mysteries, and study the most violent explosions in our galaxy and beyond. Our goal is to help discover how the universe works, explore how it began and evolved, and search for life on planets around other stars.

A growing black hole, called a quasar, is seen at the center of a faraway galaxy in this artist's concept. Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes discovered swarms of similar quasars hiding in dusty galaxies in the distant universe.

Chandra Sees Evidence for Possible New Planet in Another Galaxy

November 1, 2021

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has observed signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy may have been detected for the first time. The possible exoplanet candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), …

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Chandra Image Release “G344.7: When a Stable Star Explodes”

October 20, 2021

On 10/12/21, a Chandra image entitled “G344.7-0.1: When a Stable Star Explodes” was released to the public.  The supernova remnant G344.7-0.1 is across the Milky Way about 19,600 light years from Earth.  It belongs to a class of supernovas called …

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Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) Successfully Completes Operational Readiness Review (ORR)

October 20, 2021

The IXPE Project successfully completed its ORR 10/12-13/21 at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, CO. The IXPE Standing Review Board (SRB) approved IXPE to proceed with preparations for shipment to KSC and final launch processing and with preparations for Key Decision …

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Neutron Measurements on the Lunar Surface (NMLS) Delivery Update

October 20, 2021

NMLS is a project to deliver an instrument manifested on Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine Lander Mission One, to be launched on the new ULA Vulcan Centaur, landing on the Lacus Mortis plateau (44oN, 25oE). Astrobotic was selected as a commercial lander …

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NASA Marshall Star Features “Jingle, “Pluck, Hum: Sounds from Space” Release

October 6, 2021

Featured in the 9/22/21 issue of the NASA Marshall Star is the 9/16/21 Chandra Sonification Image Release “Jingle, Pluck, Hum: Sounds from Space.” For more information visit: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/about/star/star210922.html.

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