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Japan Launches X-Ray Observatory to Study Black Holes, Star Explosions

日本成功发射用于研究黑洞和恒星爆炸的X射线望远镜



By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | February 17, 2016 03:41pm ET
Credit: JAXA via NASA

There's a new set of X-ray eyes in the sky.

现在天上有新的天眼了。

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Astro-H X-ray observatory launched to Earth orbit today (Feb. 17) at 3:45 a.m. EST (0845 GMT; 5:45 p.m. local time in Japan) atop an H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center.

日本宇宙航空研究开发机构(简称JAXA)的Astro-H X射线望远镜2月17日美东时间早上3:45(格林尼治日本当地时间下午5:45)由H-IIA火箭在日本种子岛宇航中心发射升空并进入地球轨道。

Astro-H separated from the rocket about 14 minutes after liftoff. The satellite's solar arrays deployed as planned, and the spacecraft is currently in good health, JAXA officials said.

JAXA官员宣布,Astro-H在点火后14分钟与火箭分离。卫星的太阳能板按计划打开,飞行器目前状态良好。

After an on-orbit checkout period, Astro-H will begin studying the heavens in high-energy light, using four different instruments. The spacecraft's observations should help astronomers better understand a variety of phenomena throughout the universe, including dramatic supernova explosions, how material spirals into the maws of black holes and how gigantic galaxy clusters evolve over time, NASA officials have said.

美国航空航天总署官员解释说,在轨检查期过后,Astro-H将开始利用四台不同的设备,使用高能射线研究太空。其观测应该会帮助天文学家更好的理解一系列宇宙中的现象,包括戏剧性的超新星大爆炸,物质如何被黑洞吞噬,以及巨大无比的星系如何形成发展。

Astro-H should be capable of observing X-ray sources 10 times fainter than those studied by its Japanese predecessor, the Suzaku spacecraft, which operated from 2005 through 2015, NASA officials added.

Astro-H将有能力侦测到比其前任,在2005年-2015年之间执行任务的日本“Suzaku”飞船所能侦测到的X射线源微弱10倍的信号。



This illustration shows the locations and energy ranges of Astro-H science instruments and their associated telescopes. One keV equals 1,000 electron volts, which is hundreds of times the energy of visible light.
Credit: JAXA/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

这幅效果图显示了Astro-H上的科学仪器和望远镜组件的位置和能量范围。1keV=1000电子伏,是可见光能量的几百倍。

Hitomi has now joined two other high-profile spacecraft that are studying the universe in X-ray light from Earth orbit: NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton spacecraft, both of which launched in 1999.

Hitomi现在已经加入另两部有名的在地球轨道上用X射线研究宇宙的飞行器的行列:美国航天总署的Chandra和欧洲航天局的XMM-Newton。