Center for Research and Exploration in
Space Science &Technology II (CRESST II)
Overview of CRESST II
The Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology II (CRESST II) is a collaboration between NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Catholic University of America; Howard University; and Southeastern Universities Research Association. The overall goal of CRESST II is to support and enhance research and technology in the space sciences in support of NASA's strategic science mission objectives. CRESST II also seeks to encourage the engagement of a diverse population of students and Ph.D. scientists in NASA's space science programs.
CRESST II employs, through its partner institutions, approximately one hundred scientists who work on a wide range of space science projects in the GSFC Divisions of Astrophysics Science and Solar System Exploration. CRESST II scientists work directly with NASA scientists to support of operating missions, conduct scientific research, develop instruments, and design future missions. CRESST II provides the unique opportunity to be university research faculty working at a major NASA Center.
CRESST II also provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to become involved in scientific research and instrument development at GSFC. Undergraduate students at the partner institutions can have research experiences during the academic year. CRESST II operates a summer program that brings in students for 10-week research internships. Graduate students at the partner institutions can work on their Ph.D. research at GSFC.
CRESST II Scientist of the month
A CRESST II scientist will be featured here every month
CRESST II Scientist of the month October 2020 - Dr. Gangkai Poh is a postdoctoral research scientist working for the Catholic University of America in Planetary Magnetospheres area. He works on MAVEN and Magnetospheric Multi-Scale missions. You can learn more about Dr. Poh and his work here.
Please check CRESST II Scientist of the Month Archive for CRESST II scientists featured in previous months.
CRESST II Research Highlights
A luminous blue kilonova and an off-axis jet from a compact binary merger at z=0.1341
The newly described object, named GRB150101B, was reported as a gamma-ray burst localized
by NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory in 2015. Follow-up observations by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory,
the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) suggest that GRB150101B shares
remarkable similarities with GW170817—including the presence of a luminous flash of radioactive light known
as a kilonova, which produces large quantities of important elements like silver, gold, platinum and uranium.
The findings suggest that these two separate objects may, in fact, be directly related. A press release about
this paper, adapted from text provided by NASA, is featured on the CMNS website
The story is also shared on Facebook
and on Twitter.
The detail can be found at - A luminous blue kilonova and an off-axis jet from a compact binary merger at z=0.1341 (Troja et al. 2018, Nature Communications)
Eta Carinae, A Cosmic Ray Gun
NuSTAR observations between 2014-2016 unveiled non-thermal X-ray emission
from the super massive binary system, eta Carinae, which originates from particles
accelerated to extremely high-energies via wind colliding shocks. On the left panel,
extremely hard X-ray (30-50 keV) flux contours obtained with the 2015-2016
NuSTAR observations (green) are overlaid on the Chandra true color image of soft
X-rays below 10 keV. The 30-50 keV flux peak, dominated by non-thermal emission,
matches very well with the central white point source in the Chandra image, which
is eta Carnia's thermal X-ray emission. The inset shows a Hubble optical image of
eta Carina in the same scale. The detail can be found at -
Non-thermal X-rays from colliding wind shock acceleration in the massive binary Eta Carinae
(Hamaguchi et al. 2018, Nature Astronomy)
Peering into Tycho's Supernova
Chandra image of Tycho's supernova remnant. Red, green, blue
are emission from the Si K, Fe L, and Fe K bands, respectively.
Fe blob (light blue knotty structure) is seen near the eastern
edge of the remnant. This image is from
Origin of the Iron-Rich Knot in Tycho's Supernova Remnant (Yamaguchi et al. ApJ, 2017, 834,124 ).
There's Something about Gamma Rays
Relative smoothed residual γ-ray counts (counts-mode/model) in the square region around the core of Fornax A between 1 and 300 GeV. Overlaid are the radio contours (gray lines) from the VLA observations of Fomalont et al. (1989) with the radio core (position indicated by A) subtracted. The γ-ray residual counts are elongated in a similar way to the radio lobes. ("Fermi Large Area Telescope Detection of Extended Gamma-Ray Emission from the Radio Galaxy Fornax A"; Ackermann, M. and 116 coauthors including Davis, D. S.; Buson, S.; Ferrara, E. C.; Cohen, J. M.; Green, D. M.; Guiriec, S.; Magill, J. D.; Troja, E.; 7/2016; 2016ApJ...826....1A.)
We seek the GRAIL
Free-air gravity anomalies for the Mare Orientale basin on the Moon,
from a local solution using GRAIL data. ("Gravity field of the Orientale basin from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory Mission,"
Maria T. Zuber et. al, including Sander Goossens, Science 28 Oct 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6311, pp. 438-441).
Please explore our website to learn more about CRESST II, our partner institutions, and the opportunities available through CRESST II.