China launches Einstein Probe to unravel mysteries of X-ray universe – DNyuz

China launches Einstein Probe to unravel mysteries of X-ray universe

China has successfully launched a new spacecraft into orbit. The new Chinese probe is designed with a lobster eye and should help astronomers peer deep into the X-ray universe from violent and fleeting cosmic phenomena.

The probe lifted off aboard a Long March 2C rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China on January 9. The launch was a success, according to announcements from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC).

The Chinese probe is known as an Einstein Probe, and it is part of China’s ongoing strategic space science efforts. Once in position, the probe will peer through the universe, observing distant tidal disruption events–where black holes rip stars to pieces–and supernovas.

The probe will operate from a 600-kilometer altitude, in orbit around Earth, where it will observe the sky and space utilizing a Wide-filed X-ray telescope (WXT). These types of telescopes use lobster eye optics to view X-ray events more deeply than otherwise possible.

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We haven’t seen too many spacecraft utilizing this type of optic, but the Chinese probe should be setting itself up for some huge successes in that field, as previous demonstrations of the lobster eye optics have proven very promising.

Since we are talking about China, the CASC is likely to keep any information they find out under wraps. However, the hope is that we’ll one day have more international cooperation between China, the U.S., and other countries, especially when it comes to space-based exploration.

The European Space Agency did contribute to the mission, so that could offer a good in for the wider scientific community to get access to the data picked up here. Einstein Probe’s biggest strength is that it can observe the night sky for almost five hours.

This will hopefully allow it to catch moments or events we would not be able capture in any other way.

The post China launches Einstein Probe to unravel mysteries of X-ray universe appeared first on BGR.