Pin It
Published On: Fri, Feb 19th, 2016

Astro-H Observe Extremly Far Universe

The Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the most advanced space telescope dedicated to astronomy, ASTRO-H. Observatory should bring new information and details about celestial bodies much like massive clusters of galaxies, and high energy cosmic events, which have been classified generally as black holes.

To get an idea of the importance of these details and information that they can bring, the recent discovery of gravitational waves was attributed to the merger of two black holes. However, the Fermi telescope, NASA, noted a gamma-ray burst in the same region just 0.4 second after detection of gravitational waves and a gamma-ray burst is incompatible with the merger of black holes.

The Astro-H will bring new information about what is really there and what’s going on during these extreme events.

With 14 meters long, 9 wide and 2.7 tons of weight, the Astro-H will be orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 580 kilometers.

X-ray sources

The telescope Astro-H is equipped with four instruments covering a wide range of energies, low energy, or soft x-rays, around 300 electronvolts (eV), until the soft gamma rays, around 600,000 eV. For comparison, the energy of visible light extends between about 2 to 3 eV.

Space Center on board

Space Center on board

The Observatory also takes two hard x-ray telescopes and their associated cameras that produce images of the 80000 5000 eV, and two soft gamma-ray detectors, sensitive to light from 60000 to 600,000 eV, but do not produce images.

“We see X rays emitted by sources in the entire universe, wherever the particles of matter reach sufficiently high energies. These energies appear in a variety of situations, including stellar explosions, extreme magnetic fields or strong gravity, and x-rays allow us to investigate aspects of these phenomena which are inaccessible to observation instruments in other wavelengths, “said Robert Petre, of the Center for Astrophysics Goddard, NASA, responsible for the construction of one of the instruments aboard the Japanese telescope.

The ASTRO-H is able to observe x-ray sources more than 10 times weaker than its predecessor, the Suzaku Observatory, which operated from 2005 to 2015. For this, the ASTRO-H uses four x-ray telescopes lined up and a set of tools that offers simultaneous coverage throughout the range of the Centre’s energy.