NASA, JAXA XRISM mission unveils cosmic secrets with mesmerising X-ray imagery | Tech News

NASA, JAXA XRISM mission unveils cosmic secrets with mesmerising X-ray imagery

Japan's XRISM mission, in collaboration with NASA and ESA, unveils stunning X-ray images, offering a unique peek into the cosmos's hidden wonders and cosmic chemistry.

| Updated on: Jan 06 2024, 18:15 IST
NASA reveals info about 5 asteroids on their way; Check speed, size, and other details
XRISM mission,
1/5 Asteroid 2024 AC - The first asteroid to pass Earth is Asteroid 2024 AC, and it will do so on January 6. During its approach, it will come as close as 2.3 million kilometers. According to NASA, the space rock is nearly 85 feet wide and is travelling at a speed of almost 24444 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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2/5 Asteroid 2023 YX1 – The second asteroid on its way is designated Asteroid 2023 YX1, and it will also pass by Earth on January 6. According to NASA, this space rock has a width of nearly 120 feet. Its orbit will take it almost as close as 3.8 million kilometers to the planet’s surface while moving at a speed of 51520 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
XRISM mission,
3/5 Asteroid 2024 AM – Another space rock named Asteroid 2024 AM will pass Earth on January 7. In terms of size, the asteroid is just 29 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 1.2 million kilometers and is already moving at a breakneck speed of 32469 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
XRISM mission,
4/5 Asteroid 2002 AY1 – Asteroid 2002 AY1 will pass by Earth on January 8. During its close approach, it will come as close as 5.8 million kilometers to the planet’s surface. With a width of 720 feet, the space rock is speeding towards Earth at 62421 kilometers per hour. (WikiMedia Commons)
XRISM mission,
5/5 Asteroid 2023 XN13 – Another asteroid designated Asteroid 2023 XN13 will pass Earth on January 9. According to NASA, this 26 feet wide asteroid is travelling at almost 5177 kilometers per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of 6 million kilometers. (Pixabay )
XRISM mission,
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Japan's XRISM mission, in partnership with NASA and ESA, unveils mesmerising X-ray glimpses of the cosmos. ( JAXA/NASA/XRISM Xtend/DSS)

In a groundbreaking revelation, the XRISM (X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission) observatory, spearheaded by Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has provided an initial glimpse of the extraordinary data it will soon gather as it embarks on its scientific operations later this year. A snapshot released by the satellite's science team showcases a conglomerate of hundreds of galaxies and a spectrum of stellar remnants from a nearby galaxy, offering scientists an intricate understanding of its chemical composition.

According to Richard Kelley, the U.S. principal investigator for XRISM at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the mission promises to unveil the hidden facets of the X-ray sky, enabling the examination of sources not just through images but also through the study of their compositions, motions, and physical states.

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XRISM's Advanced Instruments and Capabilities

Launched on September 6, 2023, XRISM, a collaborative effort between JAXA, NASA, and the European Space Agency (ESA), is specifically designed to detect X-rays with energies up to 12,000 electron volts. This capability allows the mission to explore the universe's hottest regions, largest structures, and objects with the strongest gravitational pull, surpassing the energy levels of visible light by a significant margin.

The mission boasts two key instruments: Resolve and Xtend, positioned at the focal point of an X-ray Mirror Assembly crafted at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Resolve, a microcalorimeter spectrometer developed by NASA and JAXA, operates at just above absolute zero, providing previously inaccessible information about the energy of individual X-rays.

Resolve's first application focused on studying N132D, a supernova remnant in the Large Magellanic Cloud, revealing a detailed X-ray spectrum of the object's chemical makeup. Brian Williams, NASA's XRISM project scientist, emphasised how Resolve's capabilities permit a new level of precision in determining elements' abundances, temperatures, densities, and motion directions.

Xtend, XRISM's second instrument, is an X-ray imager developed by JAXA, offering a broad field of view that allowed it to capture an image of Abell 2319, a galaxy cluster undergoing a significant merger event.

Despite a minor setback with Resolve's aperture door, limiting the mission to 1,700 electron volts instead of the planned 300, XRISM's team remains undeterred, exploring solutions to rectify the anomaly. The XRISM General Observer Facility is currently accepting proposals for observations, with Cycle 1 investigations set to commence in the summer of 2024, marking a new era in X-ray astronomy.

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First Published Date: 06 Jan, 18:14 IST