ASTRO-H X-Ray Astronomy Satellite Successfully Launched! Associate Professor Junko Hiraga of the School of Science and Technology Takes Part


The ASTRO-H x-ray astronomy satellite for measuring x-rays in space, whose research and development involved Associate Professor Junko Hiraga and others from the School of Science and Technology, was successfully launched from the Tanegashima Space Center (Kagoshima Prefecture) on February 17. ASTRO-H was developed with the collaboration of more than 250 researchers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (hereinafter, JAXA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other universities and research institutes both at home and overseas. Capable of measuring black holes eight billion light-years away, the measurement equipment on ASTRO-H has higher levels of sensitivity than the Suzaku x-ray astronomy satellite that was launched in 2005 and reached the end of its life last year. ASTRO-H will pursue the history of space stretching back 13.8 billion years.
Associate Professor Hiraga contributed to the development of one of the four x-ray sensors mounted on the satellite: an X-ray CCD camera known as the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) with the widest field of view (38 MOA) capable of taking x-ray astronomy images.
For further information, visit the special JAXA site and project site listed below.