A Brief History of the Collaboration

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Suzaku ‘Post-mortem’ Yields Insight into Kepler’s Supernova

Suzaku 'Post-mortem' Yields Insight into Kepler's Supernova

An exploding star observed in 1604 by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler held a greater fraction of heavy elements than the sun, according to an analysis of X-ray observations from the Japan-led Suzaku satellite. The findings will help astronomers better understand the diversity of type Ia supernovae, an important class ...

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‘Cry’ of a Shredded Star Heralds a New Era for Testing Relativity

'Cry' of a Shredded Star Heralds a New Era for Testing Relativity

Last year, astronomers discovered a quiescent black hole in a distant galaxy that erupted after shredding and consuming a passing star. Now researchers have identified a distinctive X-ray signal observed in the days following the outburst that comes from matter on the verge of falling into the black hole.

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In McNeil’s Nebula, a Young Star Flaunts its X-ray Spots

In McNeil's Nebula, a Young Star Flaunts its X-ray Spots

Using combined data from a trio of orbiting X-ray telescopes, including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Japan-led Suzaku satellite, astronomers have obtained a rare glimpse of the powerful phenomena that accompany a still-forming star. A new study based on these observations indicates that intense magnetic fields drive torrents of ...

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Suzaku Shows Clearest Picture Yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster

Suzaku Shows Clearest Picture Yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster

X-ray observations made by the Suzaku observatory provide the clearest picture to date of the size, mass and chemical content of a nearby cluster of galaxies. The study also provides the first direct evidence that million-degree gas clouds are tightly gathered in the cluster's outskirts

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Suzaku Finds “Fossil” Fireballs from Supernovae

Suzaku Finds Fossil Fireballs from Supernovae

Suzaku studies of supernovae have revealed never-before-seen embers of the high-temperature fireballs that immediately followed the explosions. Even after thousands of years, gas within these stellar wrecks retain the imprint of temperatures 10,000 times hotter than the Sun's surface.

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Ginga satellite in the clean room
Ginga in the clean room
GIS instrument from the ASCA satellite
The GIS instrument from ASCA

Suzaku Satellite
The Suzaku satellite in Japan
Astro-H's hard x-ray imager
Astro-H’s hard X-ray imager prototype

Astronomy is all about collaboration – teams of scientists and engineers pool their collective resources to work on understanding the Universe around us. Scientists ponder questions of how the Universe works, they formulate hypotheses and collect data to test those hypotheses. Most importantly, though, they share data and hypotheses with colleagues – in sharing they get other opinions, other points of view, and sanity checks on their conclusions. Through these collaborations, the true picture of how things work becomes stronger. Engineers collaborate with scientists and each other to determine what tools scientists need to collect the best data they can. In their collaborations, engineers share best practices, new ideas and methods for building the best instruments they can with the technology at hand – Advancing technology all the faster through their collaborative efforts.

How do collaborations start? For scientists and engineers working at the same university or research lab, collaborations may stem naturally from hallway conversations. What about scientists working at different locations? Or, across the globe? Those collaborations are forged by scientists and engineers visiting other institutions or striking up conversations at conferences. Here is a short history of the collaboration in X-ray astronomy between the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS; which has been part of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) since 2003) in Japan and NASA in the United States.