X-ray astronomy satellite Huiyan to help find black holes

Updated 2018-01-30 17:10:00 Ecns.cn

China's first X-ray astronomy satellite "Huiyan" is officially put into service, Jan. 30, 2018.

(ECNS) -- China's first X-ray astronomy satellite "Huiyan" that went into orbit on June 15 last year was officially brought into service on Tuesday.

Xiang Libin, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the delivery marks the start of new scientific research. He also urged broader international cooperation and data sharing to promote breakthroughs in China's astronomical studies.

The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) completed months of on-orbit testing with excellent results as most indicators exceeded design targets.

Huiyan, the Chinese word for "insight," helped define the energy level of a newly discovered gravitational wave created by the collision of two neutron stars last year. The satellite in cooperation with other observatories located the source of the wave some 130 million light years away.

The telescope is tasked with studying the properties of transient X-ray sources in great detail and the circumstances in which emissions are generated. It will also help create a high precision X-ray map of the sky and could find previously undiscovered black holes in the Milky Way, and perhaps even new types of objects.

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