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The Star that Ate Manhattan! Studying Neutron Stars from the International Space Station – October 17 Lecture with Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian

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Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian is a research astrophysicist and the deputy principal investigator for the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. He will describe the NICER mission, an International Space Station payload devoted to studying neutron stars — the physics governing their interiors, their emissions, and their evolution.

According to Arzoumanian, “Neutron stars crush more mass than the Sun into a ball about as wide as Manhattan Island in New York, and they can rotate as fast as the blade of a kitchen blender. Neutron stars are the strongest magnets known, emit a wide range of light across the electromagnetic spectrum, and are the densest objects in the universe we can observe directly. Many are observed as ‘pulsars,’ appearing to flash regularly as their spin sweeps beams of light across our skies.”

Launched June 3, 2017, on an 18-month baseline mission, NICER will help scientists understand the nature of the densest stable form of matter located deep in the cores of neutron stars using X-ray measurements. NICER will also perform the first demonstration of spacecraft navigation using pulsars as natural beacons.

An artist’s concept of a pulsar (blue-white disk in center) pulling in matter from a nearby star (red disk at upper right). The stellar material forms a disk around the pulsar (multicolored ring) before falling on to the surface at the magnetic poles. The pulsar’s intense magnetic field is represented by faint blue outlines surrounding the pulsar. Credits: NASA

Date:  October 17, 2017

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Place:  Pickford Theater, 3d floor, Madison Building

For inquiries about this program, contact Stephanie Marcus in the Science, Technology & Business Division at [email protected] or the division office at (202) 707-1212. Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

The lecture will be later broadcast on the library’s webcast page and YouTube channel “Topics in Science” playlist.

Comments (2)

  1. Great Article

  2. Wow, interesting events! thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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