ESA Science & Technology - Hitomi
Hitomi (formerly ASTRO-H) was 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. It carried four instruments that together spanned the energy range 0.3-600 keV. The science goals of this mission included studying the dynamics of hot gas in galaxy clusters, the accretion of matter onto supermassive black holes at the cores of distant galaxies, and the acceleration of cosmic-ray particles up to very high energies. The mission was launched on 17 February 2016 at 08:45 UTC. On 28 April 2016, JAXA announced that they would discontinue operations of Hitomi as it was no longer possible to communicate with the satellite following an anomaly which appeared to have resulted in both solar array paddles having broken off from the spacecraft body.
6 July 2016With its very first observation, the Hitomi X-ray observatory has discovered that the gas in the Perseus cluster of galaxies is much less turbulent than expected. This is a surprise because the Perseus cluster is home to NGC 1275, a highly energetic active galaxy.
17 February 2016JAXA's ASTRO-H satellite was launched earlier today on an H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center, situated on a small island in the south of Japan. This space-borne observatory, developed in collaboration with institutions in Japan, the US, Canada and Europe, will probe the sky in the X-ray and soft gamma ray portions of the...
14 January 2016On 12 January 2016, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) presented their ASTRO-H satellite to the media at the Tanegashima Space Center, situated on a small island in the south of Japan. The satellite, developed with institutions in Japan, the US, Canada and Europe, is now ready to be mounted on an H-IIA rocket for launch in February.
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24 May 2016The JAXA report on the current status of the investigation of the anomalies affecting Hitomi is available in pdf format.
28 April 2016JAXA established the emergency headquarters led by President Okumura and has been doing its utmost to understand the anomaly of Hitomi. We have made every effort to confirm the status of Hitomi and to regain its functions. Unfortunately, based on our rigorous technical investigation, we had to conclude as follows.
29 March 2016Communication with Hitomi failed on 16:40 (JST) Saturday, 26 March. JAXA has been trying to communicate with Hitomi, using ground stations both in Japan and overseas. Utilizing two opportunities, JAXA received signals from the satellite, but has not been able to figure out the state of its health, as the time frames for receiving the signals...
1 March 2016JAXA have confirmed the completion of a sequence of important operations of the X-ray Astronomy Satellite 'Hitomi' (ASTRO-H), including turning the cooling system on, testing operation of the Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS), and extending the Extensible Optical Bench (EOB).