Continuing the Collaboration: Astro-H

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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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Astro-H satellite
Artist’s impression of the Astro-H satellite in space.

The Goddard instrument team has not given up on seeing an X-ray calorimeter work in space – the potential to see the Universe in greater and greater detail is too exciting to give up on.

Teams at ISAS put in a proposal for NeXT (the New exploration X-ray Telescope), as Japan’s X-ray observatory to follow Suzaku. With the support of the ISAS team, Goddard’s X-ray calorimeter team decided to write a “proposal of opportunity” to ask NASA to include a X-ray calorimeter on NeXT. Normally NASA, and other funding agencies, only accept proposals at specific times following an official announcement of a specific funding opportunity. A proposal of opportunity is written when special circumstances arise between official proposal cycles.

Both the JAXA and NASA accepted the proposals of their respective teams. NeXT has since been re-named “Astro-H”, and is planned for launch in 2014.