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NASA announces new X-ray space telescope

Posted on Thursday, 5 January, 2017 | Comment icon 5 comments

The new mission will help scientists study black holes. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 ESO/M. Kornmesser
A budget of $188 million has been assigned to the new mission which will be launching within three years.
The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission will observe the high-energy X-ray radiation produced by exotic astronomical objects such as black holes, neutron stars and pulsars.

It was chosen from among three finalists in the space agency's Astrophysics Explorers Program which had invited concepts for new space missions back in September 2014.

The new spacecraft, which will be equipped with three telescopes and special cameras designed to measure the polarization of cosmic X-rays, will open up a whole new window on the universe.

"We cannot directly image what's going on near objects like black holes and neutron stars, but studying the polarization of X-rays emitted from their surrounding environments reveals the physics of these enigmatic objects, " said Paul Hertz of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

"NASA has a great history of launching observatories in the Astrophysics Explorers program with new and unique observational capabilities."

Source: Tech Times | Comments (5)

Tags: NASA, X-Ray, Black Hole

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by brlesq1 on 5 January, 2017, 17:47
Sounds like fun. I'll be waiting to see what they come up with.
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin on 5 January, 2017, 19:52
Impressive, to be sure. From what I gather with a layman's knowledge, there must have been some agreements within the participating developers and advisory boards to do this for the benefit of science.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 5 January, 2017, 20:08
What agreements do you mean? This mission was proposed in the exact same way as every other mission in a NASA competitive selection process, and that is no different from any other scientific research programme attempting to get funding.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Saru on 6 January, 2017, 11:18
Thread cleaned Let's keep the responses civil and on-topic please.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 6 January, 2017, 18:49
I guess this will be akin to an MRI of the objects we are examining.

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