Science

NASA is launching X-ray telescope to study the science of black holes

NASA and the Italian Space Agency are launching the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer space telescope to measure the X-ray light coming from objects including neutron stars and black holes



Space



8 December 2021

An artist’s impression of the IXPE mission

NASA

NASA and the Italian Space Agency are scheduled to launch an X-ray-observing mission on Thursday that should give astronomers an important new tool for studying energetic objects across the universe.

The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) will ride into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and will measure the polarisation of the X-ray light coming from objects including neutron stars, black holes and the glowing leftovers of exploded stars, known as supernovae remnants.

Polarisation can be thought of …

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