Chinese astronomy satellite placed into orbit by Long March rocket
China’s first X-ray astronomy satellite was launched Thursday on a study mission in the Milky Way galaxy of black holes and pulsars, remains left behind by a star burning its nuclear fuel.
The hard X-ray modulation telescope also detect gamma-ray bursts, the most violent explosions in the universe and try to help astronomers connect gravitational wave bursts, visible waves through the cosmos generated by catastrophic events such as supernova explosions And black hole fusions.
The renowned orbiting X-ray observatory or Huiyan Insight after launch on Thursday is the first Chinese space telescope and the second space mission dedicated to astronomy after a Chinese particle physical probe was sent orbit in 2015 to look for signs Of dark matter.
“Prior to commissioning, only used observational data from foreign satellites could be used,” said Xiong Shaolin, a scientist at the Institute of High Energy Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “It was very difficult for Chinese astronomers to make the important results without our own instruments.”
“The only way to make original creations is to build our own observational instruments,” Xiong said in a report published by the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
“Now, Chinese scientists have created this space telescope with its many unique advantages, and it is quite possible to discover new phenomena, strange and unexpected in the universe.”
The X-ray telescope was launched Thursday at 0300 GMT (1100 EDT Wednesday) aboard a rocket from the main market 4B of the Jiuquan space center in the Gobi desert in northwest China. The takeoff took place at 11 am Thursday, Beijing time.
The three-stage Long March 4B amplifier powered by hydrazine produced the Huiyan telescope in a 335-mile-high orbit (540 km) inclined at 43 degrees to the equator, according to tracking data released by the Army of U.S. It is very close to the planned orbit of X-ray telescope
Ground controllers plan to activate and test the observatory over the next five months to enter service later this year, fulfilling a mission first proposed by Chinese scientists in 1994 and officially approved by the Chinese government in 2011, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Artistic conception of Hard X-ray modulation China Telescope. Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Huiyan 5500 pound (2500 kg) spacecraft is designed for the four-year mission.
Its three X-ray instruments, ordered to observe low-, medium- and high-energy X-rays, are sensitive to 1,000 to 250,000 volts of electrons, an energy range spanning the energy of a medical x-ray.
The Earth’s atmosphere absorbs light signals to X-rays, so astronomers have to build and launch satellites for work.
X-ray observers are especially suitable for studies of black holes and neutron stars, two types of denser objects in the universe created after supernovae, explosions at the end of a star’s life.
Unlike the X-ray telescopes launched by NASA and the European Space Agency, the Chinese Huiyan mission uses grazing mirrors, which must be extremely thin to reflect high-frequency X-ray waves.
Chinese officials said they do not have the skills to build these kind of flat mirrors, so scientists have developed a backup plan that does not depend on traditional imagery.
The method of observation, called demodulation, “can help reconstruct the image of X-ray sources using data from detectors without relatively simple imaging, such as a” collimator “telescope that collects and stores X-ray photons Parallel to a specified address, “Xinhua said.
Scientists said the Chinese X-ray telescope might observe brighter than other X-ray missile targets because the method of diffusive demodulation of other X-ray telescopes reflect and focus X-ray photons on detectors.