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NASA's new X-ray observatory opened its eyes to the cosmos

BingMag.com <b>NASA's</b> <b>new</b> <b>X-ray</b> <b>observatory</b> <b>opened</b> its <b>eyes</b> to the cosmos

NASA's newest X-ray observatory, IXPE, has now begun scientific operations and is ready to explore the universe in the spectrum of radiation. It is X that is not visible to the human eye. Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer or IXPE after just over a month in space, It has already begun its scientific work and is studying some of the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe.

In a joint effort by NASA and the Italian Space Agency, IXPE is the first space observatory to study the polarization of X-rays from objects. It explodes like stars exploding and black holes are emitted. The polarization describes how the X-ray orbits as it travels through space and provides valuable information to scientists. "The start of IXPE scientific observations opens a new chapter in X-ray astronomy," Alabama said. "One thing is certain, and that is that we can expect the unexpected to be discovered." Following the deployment process, the observatory beam, which provides the distance needed to focus X-rays on the detectors, was successfully opened on December 15th. The IXPE team also spent the next three weeks examining the observatory's maneuverability, object targeting, and telescope alignment.

During these tests, the mission team aimed the IXPE toward two calibration targets: 1ES 1959 + 650 a The galactic nucleus is powered by a black hole that launches jets into space, and the SMC X-1 is a rotating dead star called a supernova. The brightness of these two sources made it easy for the IXPE team to find out where the X-ray was focused on the polarization-sensitive detectors and to make small adjustments to align the telescope.

  • X-ray images of galaxies, stars, and supernova remnants

Next IXPE step

This X-ray observatory starts on January 11, 2022 (December 21, 1400) Observed his first official scientific goal, "Cassiopeia A" or as A. Remains of a massive star that exploded about 350 years ago with a supernova in the Milky Way. Supernovae are rich in magnetic energy and accelerate particles to near light speeds, making them ideal laboratories for studying the physics of extreme conditions in space.

BingMag.com <b>NASA's</b> <b>new</b> <b>X-ray</b> <b>observatory</b> <b>opened</b> its <b>eyes</b> to the cosmos

X-rays emitted from large mass black holes are one of the targets of the IXPE Observatory.
Credit: NASA

IXPE provides details about the structure of the Cas A magnetic field that are not otherwise visible. By studying X-ray polarization, scientists can discover the exact structure of the magnetic field and the places where these particles accelerate.

IXPE observations of Cas A will take about three weeks. "Measuring X-ray polarization is not easy," Vyskopf said. You have to collect a lot of light and non-polar light acts like background noise. Therefore, the detection of polarized signals may take some time. "IXPE Mission It is managed, it sends. The data travels from the Malindi station to the IXPE Mission Operations Center at the Aerospace Physics Laboratory (LASP) of the University of Colorado Boulder, then to the IXPE Scientific Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center for processing and analysis, and finally the IXPE scientific data from the Research Center. High-energy astrophysics will be made available to the public at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The mission aims to see more than 30 planned goals in the first year. IXPE will study distant massive black holes with jets of energetic particles that illuminate their host galaxies. The mission also explores space-time curvatures around star-mass black holes and measures their rotation. Other targets planned for the space observatory include various types of neutron stars, such as supernovae and magnets. The team also spent about a month observing other interesting objects that may appear in the sky or shine unexpectedly.

IXPE is a collaboration between NASA and the Italian Space Agency. 12 countries participate in it. The spacecraft is also managed by Ball Aerospace in Bromfield, California.


Source: Phys.Org

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