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X-ray observatory launched by Japan to study deep space

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Tokyo, Feb.21 (ANI): Japan has launched a new generation X-ray astronomy satellite to study deep space aiming to reveal the structure of the universe.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. launched the X-ray Astronomy Satellite (ASTRO-H) aboard the H-2A Launch Vehicle from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center in Japan’s southwestern Kagoshima prefecture, Xinhua news agency reports.

About 14 minutes after liftoff, ASTRO-H separated from the rocket. The satellite has been released from the upper stage of the H-2A rocket to begin a three-year mission.

“ASTRO-H will investigate the mechanisms of how galaxy clusters – the largest objects in space made of ‘visible matter’ – formed and influenced by dark energy and dark matter, to reveal the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, and to unearth the physical laws governing extreme conditions in neutron stars and black holes,” said Japanese space agency JAXA.

“ASTRO-H will allow measurements of the curvature of space time. This is space time warped in close proximity to spinning black holes, something no-one has ever seen. The high precision observations of ASTRO-H will enable us to glimpse this for the first time. These observations are expected to lead to new ways of verifying Einstein’s theory of general relativity,” added the space agency. (ANI)

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