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The heart of the ASTRO-H Soft X-ray Spectrometer is the microcalorimeter array at center. The five-millimeter square forms a 36-pixel array. Each pixel is 0.824 millimeter on a side, or about the width of the ball in a ballpoint pen. The detector's field of view is approximately three arcminutes, or one-tenth the apparent diameter of the full moon.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Five Questions about ASTRO-H/Hitomi (and launch videos!)

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • February 22, 2016
  • Comments Off on Five Questions about ASTRO-H/Hitomi (and launch videos!)

We were able to get our hands on these “5 questions your neighbor might ask” about the ASTRO-H mission (recently renamed Hitomi), and in particular NASA Goddard’s contributions. Here are the answers, courtesy of Dr. Rich Kelly, the Principal Investigator of the Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS). [Fun fact – he … Continue Reading →


ASTRO-H Launches

A New Eye in Space

It’s with greatest pleasure that we say congratulations to the whole ASTRO-H team for a successful launch. Or should we say, the Hitomi team. ASTRO-H has been newly re-christened, as is the Japanese tradition upon a successful launch. The name Hitomi has a significance, and that is this. According to … Continue Reading →


ASTRO-H Artist Impression

Almost time…

Update, Feb 16: We have an official updated launch date! It’ll be 3:45 AM EST February 17th (that is Tuesday into early Wednesday morning). The time is almost here to see the ASTRO-H spacecraft launch, and to learn what its true name will be. The Japanese space agency has a … Continue Reading →


Tanegashima

Flying to a Tropical Island

  • By Kevin Boyce
  • January 29, 2016
  • Comments Off on Flying to a Tropical Island

Two weeks left until Astro-H launches. The spacecraft propellant tanks have been filled, all “non-flight” items (such as protective covers) have been removed, and the spacecraft has been installed in the fairing (the pointy end of the rocket). The team from Goddard is on our way back to the launch … Continue Reading →


ASTRO-H

The Road to Tanegashima

Getting ready to launch Astro-H from Japan Continue Reading →


Astro-H

X-ray Detectors on the Move

Here at NASA Goddard, in Astrophysics, we have quite a large group that studies high-energy light – that is, X-rays and gamma-rays. Not only do our astrophysicists study the objects that emit light at these energies, some of them build the instruments to collect this astronomical data. One such astrophysicist … Continue Reading →


Shiny - Astro-H hardware

Shiny: a Look at Astro-H Flight Hardware

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • January 9, 2013
  • Comments Off on Shiny: a Look at Astro-H Flight Hardware

Here’s some brand new photos from one of the missions we are working on here at the Astrophysics Science Division – Astro-H! Astro-H is an orbiting X-ray astronomy observatory being developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). NASA and JAXA have teamed up to develop a high resolution “Soft … Continue Reading →


Awesomeness Round-up

Awesomeness Round-up – 11/22/10

The Chandra X-ray satellite just found the youngest nearby black hole. At 30 years old, it’s the remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth. “If our interpretation is correct, this is the nearest example where the birth of a black … Continue Reading →


But That's Midnight To You

But That’s Midnight to You

It’s 1 PM, and I’m sampling the local cuisine, 7000 miles from home and 50 km from my second home outside Tokyo, hoping I can make it back before dark on my rented bicycle. Hi everybody, I’m new to Blueshift, but not new to Japan. I’ve been coming over to … Continue Reading →


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