China launches X-ray space telescope

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

China today launched the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), also dubbed Insight by Chinese news sources.

The HXMT carries three x-ray telescopes observing at energies ranging from 20 to 200 kilo-electron volts as well as an instrument to monitor the space environment, according to its designers. While orbiting 550 kilometers above the planet, the HXMT will perform an all-sky survey that is expected to discover a thousand new x-ray sources. Over an expected operating lifetime of 4 years, it will also conduct focused observations of black holes, neutron stars, and gamma ray bursts.

More here. This is China’s first home-grown X-ray space telescope, and its launch once again illustrates that, for at least the next few decades, China intends to be a major player in the exploration of the solar system.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *