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Soft X-ray Telescope on Hitomi

Soft X-ray Telescope on Hitomi


Date: 02 February 2016
Satellite: Hitomi
Depicts: Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT)
Copyright: NASA

This photo shows one of the two Soft X-ray Telescopes on the Hitomi satellite.

The mirror systems employed in these telescopes are conically approximated Wolter I grazing incidence optics – the type of mirrors used to focus high-energy radiation such as X-rays. These telescopes are quite different from those used for optical astronomy: in order to be reflected (rather than absorbed) by a mirror, X-rays must barely graze its surface, hitting it at a very small angle, typically 1° or even less.

This telescope contains 203 conical shells coated in reflecting material, nestled into one another to make the total reflecting surface as large as possible. It has a focal length of 5.6 m.

Hitomi (known as ASTRO-H prior to launch) is a high-energy astrophysics space observatory, developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in collaboration with institutions in Japan, the US, Canada, and Europe.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
6-Mar-2021 10:50 UT

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