According to a report by the China Daily published on Saturday, China is planning to launch a lobster-eye-like X-ray astronomical satellite this year.
China has ambitious plans to launch a new X-ray astronomical satellite called the Einstein Probe (EP) at the end of this year.
This is according to a report by the ChinaDaily published on Saturday and quoting Yuan Weimin, principal investigator of the satellite project.
“The satellite has entered the final stage of development,” he said at the recent 35th National Symposium on Space Exploration.
EP will have many missions, including capturing the first light from supernova explosions, helping search for gravitational wave sources, and observing the transient phenomena in the universe.
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The tool will hopefully finally shed light on the many transient and explosive sources in the universe, such as black holes that are devouring stars.
“These fast transient sources are crucial to cosmology and galaxy studies, but are currently poorly understood by scientists,” said Weimin.
EP was based on an animal feature: the lobster’s eye, which allows light from all directions to reflect in the tubes and converges on the retina, giving the ocean dweller a large field of view.
Scientists at the X-ray Imaging Laboratory of NAOC mimicked the lobster eye to create a telescope to detect X-rays in space.
The technology has been in development since 2010 but only recently made a breakthrough.
“Thanks to the lobster-eye telescope technology, the Einstein Probe will be able to monitor the currently poorly known soft X-ray band with a large field of view and high sensitivity,” Weimin added.
“This technology will revolutionize monitoring of the X-ray sky, and the test module shows the strong scientific potential of the Einstein Probe mission,” said Paul O’Brien, head of Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester.
In a tweet last month, the US Space Force said that a secret Russian satellite shot down in orbit and released a dangerous cloud of debris into Earth’s atmosphere.
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