NICER’s X-ray Timing Instrument has been operating on the International Space Station since June 2017. The instrument offers a unique package of capabilities that feature high-throughput in soft X-rays, precision timing (100 ns, absolute), and the useful spectral resolution of silicon detectors. The primary science objectives of NICER are designed to target non-accreting ms pulsars to investigate the structure of neutron stars and their equation of state. There are additional scientific goals to improve physical models for a wide variety of X-ray sources, and NASA hopes to operate NICER beyond 2018 as a guest observer facility. The first publications from NICER feature bright sources that are accreting compact objects. The transient X-ray sky has been very active in recent months, and NICER science has been enriched by these opportunities. This talk is intended to showcase NICER capabilities, with emphasis on accreting black holes and neutron stars, including the recent transients.
Host: Deepto Chakrabarty