Ultra-bright pulsar is an X-ray mystery

13 October 2014 Keith Cooper

Blinding bursts of X-rays are coming from a supercharged pulsar lying in a galaxy 10 million light years away, more powerful than any pulsar ever seen before. The discovery, by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, challenges what we thought we knew about these extreme objects.

Mars Orbiter Mission

India and NASA plot science campaign for Mars orbiters

2 October 2014 Stephen Clark

Officials working on India’s Mars orbiter project are finalizing plans for a six-month science campaign after the spacecraft arrived in orbit last week, an achievement that has already satisfied the mission’s primary objectives, the head of India’s space agency said Monday. Since the probe entered orbit around Mars, scientists have switched on four of the craft’s five scientific instruments and the orbiter has returned dazzling images of the red planet, showing the Martian surface, atmosphere and an uncommon global perspective rivaling views from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Mars Orbiter Mission, developed and launched for $74 million, was conceived as a technological trailblazer for India’s interplanetary exploration program. The mission is India’s first robotic probe to travel beyond the moon, and the craft’s arrival at Mars made India the fourth entity to put a satellite into orbit around the red planet. “It was an historic moment for everyone in the country,” said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization. “It was a technological mission primarily, and have we achieved that. We give ourselves an 85 percent mark for that achievement.” Speaking at the 65th International Astronautical Congress, Radhakrishnan said officials are now developing a flight plan for the