Space Agencies Sending X-Ray Satellite into Cosmos to Gather Revolutionary Data

DNA backgroundA new satellite project led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Yale University will blast into the cosmos later this month.

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, 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. 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.

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