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Imagine the Universe! Special Exhibit

Satellite Showcase


The Astro-E2 satellite
(Click for larger view.)

The Mission

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.

The 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:

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Nicholas White (Director), within the Exploration of the Universe Division (EUD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Project Leader: Dr. Jim Lochner
Curator:Meredith Bene
Responsible NASA Official:Phil Newman
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