“XRISM satellite launches to study the universe in different colors of X-rays”, Uchicago News

September 12, 2023

An artist’s rendering of XRISM, a satellite that will take groundbreaking new readings of hot and energetic places in the universe. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

On Sept. 6, a new satellite left Earth to tell us about the motions of hot plasma flows in the universe. Launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) satellite will detect X-ray wavelengths with unprecedented precision to peer into the hearts of galaxy clusters, reveal the workings of black holes and supernovae, as well as to tell us about the elemental makeup of the universe.

XRISM, pronounced “crism,” is a collaborative mission between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA, with participation by the European Space Agency.

“With XRISM, we will have a whole new view of the hot and energetic universe,” said University of Chicago astrophysicist Irina Zhuravleva, who is a NASA participating scientist for the project and a chair of the diffuse extragalactic science team within the collaboration. “We will observe stellar explosions, interactions of black holes with their host galaxies, and violent mergers of galaxy clusters in unprecedented details, but most exciting—the unexpected discoveries that always accompany new missions.”

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