Imagine the Universe! Special Exhibit
The Astro-E2 satellite|
(Click for larger view.)
Astro-E2 is the latest in a series of Japanese X-ray astronomy
observatories that has NASA participation. It uses lightweight X-ray
mirrors and three different instruments to detect X-rays from
celestial objects such as
black holes, supernova remnants and clusters of galaxies. It uses a
revolutionary X-ray spectrometer called a
microcalorimeter. This device measures the energy of an X-ray by
taking its temperature. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
provided the X-ray mirrors and the X-ray microcalorimeter.
satellite was developed at Japan's Institute of Space and
Astronautical Science (ISAS), which is part of the Japanese Aerospace
Exploration Agency (JAXA). In addition, various
Japanese universities collaborated with ISAS and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop an X-ray
imaging detector. The Japanese also developed an instrument to
detect higher energy X-rays.
Astro-E2 will be launched from Japan in summer 2005. When fully
deployed in space it will be 6.5 m tall and 1.85 m wide.
Science Areas that Astro-E2 will Study
Astro-E2 will study a wide array of objects. But these are among the
topics of particular interest: