XRISM Satellite to Rediscover Our Universe in X-ray Color

XRISM Satellite to Rediscover Our Universe in X-ray Color
XRISM Satellite to Rediscover Our Universe in X-ray Color

A brand new satellite was launched from Earth on September 6 with the aim of informing us about the dynamics of hot plasma flows in the universe.

The X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) satellite, launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, uses X-ray wavelengths with unprecedented precision to peer into the centers of galaxy clusters, reveal the workings of black holes and supernovae, and inform us about the elemental composition of the universe. will detect.

XRISM, pronounced “crism,” is a joint mission of the European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and NASA.

Unlike existing X-ray telescopes, XRISM will be able to distinguish between various colors of X-ray radiation, providing scientists with a wealth of new data. It is equipped with a new device that can detect X-rays by detecting very small temperature changes. He or she will be able to determine which chemical elements, such as silicon, iron, nickel, or oxygen, are abundant in what he is examining. In addition, gas movement speeds can also be read by XRISM.

“With XRISM, we will have a whole new perspective on the hot and energetic universe,” said Irina Zhuravleva, an astronomer at the University of Chicago and one of NASA's scientists contributing to the project. She also serves as the team leader of the dispersed extragalactic science team. “We will observe star explosions, interactions of black holes with host galaxies, and violent mergers of galaxy clusters in never-before-seen detail, but most exciting are the unexpected discoveries that always accompany new missions.”

Exploding stars, matter orbiting supermassive black holes, and mergers of galaxy clusters—the largest things in the universe that gravitationally hold millions of galaxies together—are some of the most intense, extreme processes in space that emit X-rays.

The first observations of multiple giant galaxy clusters and galaxy groupings will be studied by researchers at the University of Chicago. Supermassive black holes located at the centers of galaxy clusters are a matter of significant debate. It is known that these black holes emit energy to their surroundings, which controls the rate of star formation. However, it is still unknown exactly how these black holes communicate with their host galaxies.

“So far, we have studied the mechanics of these interactions by looking at 'static' imaging data,” said Zhuravleva, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics. “With XRISM, we will study the mixture of different gases and metals and measure the speeds of gas movements driven by supermassive black holes.”

Similar observations of the outer regions of galaxy clusters would show how energy is transferred throughout the universe.

Additionally, by carefully measuring the abundance of various chemical elements and the distribution of metals inside and outside galaxies, XRISM will reveal the types of exploding stars responsible for the current chemical composition of the universe.

These observations must be made from space because the Earth's atmosphere absorbs X-rays. Launching a satellite and operating each instrument from space is an incredible task. Similar satellites have been launched and operated three times before, but each attempt has failed. Scientists hope the fourth attempt will be the turning point of the mission.

The XRISM spacecraft will be checked and calibrated after launch to ensure all equipment is ready to begin the observation program later this year.

According to Zhuravleva, thanks to XRISM, high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy will enter a new era. We are preparing to analyze the highly anticipated data and we are very excited about this task.

Source: phys org/news

📩 11/09/2023 17:04