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XRISM Mission: NASA's Amazing New Camera

20 мая 2024

XRISM Mission: NASA's Amazing New Camera

Microcalorimetric spectrometer

The James Webb Space Telescope, launched in late 2021, has an image resolution of 122 megapixels. However, NASA's newest camera is equipped with a sensor of only 36 pixels. This equipment, called Resolve, is actually a microcalorimetric spectrometer capable of measuring minute temperature changes. But the device doesn't just take pictures. Its detector measures the temperature of each X-ray beam that hits it. In other words, Resolve provides unprecedented accuracy in analyzing the chemical composition of observed objects, in particular supermassive black holes.

This instrument is the centerpiece of NASA's X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM), carried out in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). The mission has already started, the satellite was launched from the Tanegashima cosmodrome (Japan) in September 2023. The mission also includes another piece of equipment, the Xtend X—ray scanner.


What are NASA's hopes?

"XRISM will offer the international scientific community a new perspective on the hidden sky of X-rays. We will not only get X—ray images of these sources, but also study their composition, movement and physical condition," Richard Kelly, the mission's principal investigator from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a press release published in January 2024.

Each pixel of the Resolve spectrometer generates a spectrum of visual data covering a wide range of energies, from 400 to 12,000 electron volts. Thus, the device can perceive the movements of elements inside the target in almost three-dimensional perspective. In fact, the spectrometer is able to identify elements present in a precise area of space, assess their temperature, as well as their physical properties and the gases and materials contained in them.

For NASA, mapping the motion of matter with unprecedented precision could open new doors to space exploration in general. In particular, this will make it possible to understand the flows of hot gas in galaxy clusters or to track the movement of elements in the remnants of supernova explosions.

Source: New-Science.ru https://new-science.ru/missiya-xrism-novaya-udivitelnaya-kamera-nasa/