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Ask an Astrophysicist

This is NASA's Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics (LHEA) "Ask an Astrophysicist" web site. As the name suggests, we specialize in High Energy Astrophysics. This deals with the X-ray, Gamma-ray and Cosmic Ray universe; and covers topics such as black holes, quasars and dark matter.

We attempt to answer as many questions as possible, but because of the volume of email we receive, we are unfortunately often unable to answer all of them.

We will not respond to questions whose answers may be found in our archive or on our site, or questions unrelated to high energy astrophysics.

  • We do not accept more than 1 question per email and no more than 1 question per week from an individual user.
  • Educators, please see Special Guidelines for Teachers.
  • It usually takes 1-2 weeks for our volunteers to answer a question.

Which topic area are you interested in?
(Please select one)

Red * Astrobiology (exoplanets, life in space) * Neutron Stars/Pulsars
* Astronomy as a Profession Red * Night Sky (stars, planets & more)
* Binary Star Systems * Physics of Stars
* Black Holes * Quasars & Active Galaxies
* Cosmic Rays * Relativity
* Cosmology * Satellites & Space Technology
* Dark Matter Red * Solar System
Red * Earth and Moon (also calendars) Red * Space Travel & Exploration
* Gamma-ray Bursts * Supernovae and Their Remnants
* Milky Way and other Galaxies * X-ray/Gamma-ray Astronomy

Red * General Astronomy & Astrophysics

Please note that topic links with Red * take you to an archive of questions & answers and other resources, but will not allow you to submit new questions.

Not sure where your question fits in? If so,
  • Read an explanation of these topic areas.
  • Or type a key word or phrase into our LIBRARY SEARCH ENGINE --- your question may already have been answered on our site.
If your question does not fall onto one of the above areas, it means we are not the appropriate resource for your question.



Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Nicholas White (Director), within the Exploration of the Universe Division (EUD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Project Leader: Dr. Jim Lochner
Curator:Meredith Bene
Responsible NASA Official:Phil Newman
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2005.