Yale Researchers Participated In Hitomi Space Exploration Mission; Project's Satellite Was Los Months After Its Launch


A space exploration project where Yale University researchers played a great part with, the Hitomi, found a quiet core among a massive cluster of galaxies in the Perseus constellation.

The members of the international mission, Hitomi, reported in the journal Nature on July 6 that they have discovered a 'remarkably quiescent atmosphere' in the heart of the cluster of galaxies in the Perseus constellation. The new details about the cluster of galaxies was obtained using the new Soft X-Ray Spectrometer (SXS). The information gathered provides insight to astronomers regarding the dynamics of the flowing hot gasses that pervade galaxy clusters.

In this project led by Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency was participated by many other institution and Yale University maintained a prominent role in the said space exploration project. Among the team is a senior research scientist in physics and astronomy at Yale, Andrew Szymkowiak. Szymkowiak is a member of the development team for SXS for over 30 years. Yale University's Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Meg Urry, was also part of the team so is Paolo Coppi, a professor of physics and astronomy at Yale. The principal investigator that led the team was from University of Tokyo, Tadayuki Takahashi of JAXA, Yale News reported.

The spacecraft, which featured a number of cutting edge technologies, was launched in February. Features include the innovative SXS. Weeks, later, the mission failed after the team lost control of the spacecraft.

However, before the satellite was gone in space, it was able to collect one month's worth of information as it was moving towards its first target which is the Perseus cluster. The target was 250 million light years away from Earth. The satellite picked up X-rays at different wavelengths with higher precision compared to the previous detectors launched, MIT News reported.

The JAXA-led mission launched in February features the participation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Also, research institutions around the world reached out in participation to the project. Previously, the project was called ASTRO-H.

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