Dubbed ASTRO-H X-ray Observatory, the satellite is expected to collect revolutionary data on a variety of subjects within the space community, including the formation of galaxy clusters and the warping of space and time around black holes.
According to Phys.org, a large portion of the satellite’s mission revolves around X-rays.
By harnessing the power of X-rays, we are able to view and treat the human body in new ways. Technology used in the medical field that utilizes X-rays is constantly changing, allowing us to capture 30 frames per second when taking an X-ray. The knowledge linked to these advancements is miniscule compared to the data the ASTRO-H observatory is hoping to collect.
The launch date for the satellite is set for Feb. 12 and blast-off will take place at the Tanegashima Space Center. NASA, the European Space Agency, and a variety of research institutions from around the world are participating in the project.
“This is the next, big X-ray observatory,” said Andrew Szymkowiak, a Yale senior research scientist in astronomy and physics who is part of the ASTRO-H mission. “We’re going to clean up on new information about galaxy clusters and supernova remnants.”
Black holes, neutron stars, galaxy clusters and many other aspects of space emit X-rays. The short length of these X-rays makes an orbiting telescope the best way to study them.
Techtimes.com reports that ASTRO-H is expected to stay in orbit for three years. It will maintain a position near the equator and will be outfitted with four telescopes, a soft X-ray spectrometer, a soft X-ray imaging system, a soft gamma-ray detector and a hard X-ray imaging system.