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.

KPD 0005+5106: Roasted and Shredded by a Stellar Sidekick

November 30, 2021

Chandra issued an image and press release on 11/22/21, “KPD 00005+5106: Roasted and Shredded by a Stellar Sidekick.” A team of scientists used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton to investigate some unusual X-ray activity of a white dwarf star. …

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Chandra Conducts Periodic Flight Operations Engineering and Program Quarterly Reviews

November 30, 2021

The Chandra X-ray Observatory Program conducted a two day semi-annual Engineering review on 11/9-10/21, via Google Meet.  The Flight Operations Team technical subsystem engineers presented health and status data for each of the subsystems to Chandra engineers and management at …

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MSFC Scientists Joins NASA HQ on Twitter Spaces to Discuss IXPE Launch

November 30, 2021

Stephen Bongiorno and Steven Ehlert (ST12) recently participated in a Twitter Spaces event held by NASA HQ and hosted by Thomas Zurbuchen discussing recent developments in X-ray astronomy, including the upcoming launch of the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE). Approximately …

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Chandra’s “Explore Exoplanets with Chandra X-Ray Observatory” Featured in the NASA STEM Newsletter

November 16, 2021

On 11/4/21, a Chandra outreach product, “Explore Exoplanets with Chandra X-ray Observatory”, was featured in the NASA STEM Newsletter.  This newsletter was sent to 55,348 subscribers and shared via Social Media Tools within NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement which has approximately …

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Chandra Exhibit at STEAMfest 2021 Huntsville Science Festival

November 16, 2021

On 10/30/21, Chandra participated in Huntsville’s STEAMfest Festival held at the Von Braun Civic Center by providing an exhibit that featured a video and static display of many Chandra discoveries. The festival in general included booths and displays by local …

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