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By NASA
December 17, 2021

IXPE in Earth Orbit

Artist’s representation of IXPE in Earth orbit. Credit: NASA

NASA‘s latest X-ray observatory– the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, or IXPE– extended its boom effectively December 15, providing IXPE the capability to see high-energy X-rays. The objective, which introduced on December 9, is one action more detailed to studying a few of the most energetic and mystical locations in deep space in a brand-new method.

The IXPE observatory includes 3 similar telescopes, each with a mirror assembly and a polarization-sensitive detector. To focus X-rays, IXPE’s mirrors requirement to be about 13 feet (4 meters) far from the detectors. That’s too big to fit inside some rocket fairings. IXPE’s boom had to fold up, like origami, into a 12- inch (0.3-meter) cannister and stretch out once again in orbit.

” For those of us in the area video game, moving parts are constantly frightening,” stated Martin Weisskopf, IXPE’s primary detective at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight. “Right now, I’m smiling from ear to ear.”

With the boom now released, objective experts are prepared to concentrate on commissioning the telescopes, preparing them for the spacecraft’s very first science.

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