Feb 20, 2016

Japan Launches Observatory To Study Black Holes And Dying Stars

Posted by in categories: cosmology, satellites

Japan is studying the black holes.

This week the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched a new space observatory designed to study black holes, dying stars and the history of galaxy clusters. The X-ray Astronomy Satellite, known as ASTRO-H, will be able to detect X-rays more than 10 times fainter than its telescope predecessor, Suzaku.

ASTRO-H was launched on the Japanese launch vehicle H-IIA from Tanegashima Launch Center on Wednesday, February 17th at 3:45 am EST. Within hours, the satellite deployed its solar arrays and was functioning normally.

It’s tradition for Japan’s astronomy satellites to be given a provisional name before launch and be renamed once they’re in orbit. After its successful launch, JAXA announced ASTRO-H was renamed to Hitomi, a Japanese word that refers to an eye’s pupil, which is like an aperture collecting light for an eye.

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