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.

NASA’s Chandra finds Galaxy Cluster Collision on a “WHIM”

October 30, 2022

The most recent Chandra press and image release “NASA’s Chandra Finds Galaxy Cluster Collision on a “Whim” was release on 10/13/22. Astronomers taking inventory of the material in the local universe keep coming up short. A new result from NASA’s …

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Chandra Adds X-Ray Vision to Webb Images

October 30, 2022

Chandra released an image titled “NASA’s Chandra Adds X-ray Vision to Webb Images” on 10/4/22. X-rays from Chandra have been combined with infrared data from early publicly released James Webb Space Telescope images. These four objects were among the first …

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FERMI-GBM Detects Brightest Gamma-Ray Burst Since Launch

October 30, 2022

On 10/9/22, Fermi-GBM detected the brightest gamma-ray burst, GRB 221009A since its launch in 2008. Preliminary GBM data analysis shows this burst surpasses the previous record holder, GRB 130427A by an order of magnitude in terms of fluence and at …

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Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) Target of Opportunity and Presentation

October 30, 2022

An IXPE quick-response target of opportunity was approved and executed to observe the Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 221009A, detected by Fermi-GBM on 10/9/22. As the x-ray brightest afterglow recorded, numerous observatories are studying its properties and evolution. Quick-look analysis of the …

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Chandra: “Setting the Clock on a Stellar Explosion”

October 30, 2022

The Chandra image release titled “Setting the Clock on a Stellar Explosion” was featured as the “NASA Image of the Day” on 9/12/22. A new image of SNR 0519-69.0 shows the debris of a star that exploded several hundred years …

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