Wednesday, 06th July 2005



A new X-Ray satellite is being launched called Astro-E2. It's literally a really cool x-ray telescope. This X-Ray telescope will be much cooler than the other two that currently operate; XMM-Newton and Chandra. These two split the X-Rays through a prism. Astro-E2 will instead measure how much a detector's temperature changes every time a photon hits it. To do this it need to be bloody cold. 0.06 Kelvin! That's cold! Space is 2.7K in temperature. To achieve this, the satellite is wrapped in three layers of insulation like a big thermos to keep the XRS (X-Ray Spectrometer) cold. From the outside in, a layer of Foil insulation, A layer of solid neon at 10Kelvin and a layer of liquid helium at 1.3K surround the inside refrigerator containing the XRS. Very cool. This sat is also going to have a CCD camera and a High-Energy X-Ray detector. It's going to launch at Uchinoura Space Center, Kagoshima in Japan at 0300GMT aboard an M5 rocket.

Deep Impact :

They don't know about the impact part yet, just the plume ("I can't see shit through this smoke!") The plume of material is opaque and they can't see the crater that was left by the impactor. Some of the deep impact team are saying that the nucleus is not like a cucumber inside but a loaf of bread, others say it's like a delicate soufflé. In other words, very delicate and porous. Once they can see the base of the plume they can speculate the size of the crater, they indicate that it may be weeks before the plume has subsided enough.

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