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New satellite being developed to detect X-ray emissions from space

May 28, 2011 - Washington

A new satellite capable of detecting and imaging high- and low-energy X-ray emissions from space is being developed by Japanese and Canadian astronomers.

The Astro-H observatory will use a variety of instruments to make observations of some of the most extreme and volatile objects in the Universe, and will allow astronomers to study the dynamics and environments of black holes, supernova remnants, and galaxy clusters.

The observatory is designed to achieve exceptionally high resolution X-ray spectra and some of the first high-energy X-ray images.

The international project, known as the "Astro-H X-ray Mission," is spearheaded by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and is set to launch in 2014.

"The possibilities of what we could learn from this observatory arencredible," said Dr. Luigi Gallo, the principal investigator of theanadian portion of the project.

"We will not only view certain characteristics of astronomical objects for the first time, but we will also view them with a degree of accuracy and precision unparalleled in previous X-ray missions," added Gallo.


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