Tucker, Wallace Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Bonsall, California.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- Neutron stars
- Black holes, active galactic nuclei, and quasars
- Galaxy clusters and dark matter
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The study of the universe as revealed by the high-energy, invisible forms of light, x-rays and gamma rays, and through cosmic rays and neutrinos. High-energy forms of radiation and particle emissions are produced through the heating and acceleration of matter to millions of degrees Kelvin and near-light speed in extreme astrophysical conditions. These conditions are generated by objects including exploding stars, neutron stars, black holes, and galaxy clusters, thus making high-energy astrophysics an essential method for studying their inner workings (Fig. 1). More broadly, because high-energy astrophysics involves energies that are unobtainable in labs on Earth, the field is of prime importance to investigating fundamental physics. See also: Black hole; Electron; Galaxy; Gamma rays; Gamma-ray astronomy; Neutrino; Neutrino astronomy; Neutron star; Physics; Supernova; X-ray astronomy; X-rays
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