HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Dec. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA is gearing up to launch a new set of eyes toward the cosmos. On Dec. 9, NASA will launch the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer or IXPE, spacecraft, that will help us better understand some of the most extreme objects in the universe.
IXPE has three telescopes that will be looking at some of the highest energy, most dramatic, and most violent objects in the universe that challenge our ideas about modern physics such as black holes and neutron stars. These mysterious and violent stellar phenomena naturally emit X-rays, which is just what IXPE is going to study.
X-rays originate from places where matter is under extreme conditions – violent collisions, enormous explosions, 10-million-degree temperatures, fast rotations, and strong magnetic fields. X-rays hold the key to understanding these phenomena, but because Earth's atmosphere blocks them from reaching us, they can only be observed by telescopes in orbit.
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Space is filled with interesting phenomena we don't fully understand. One NASA mission launching tomorrow hopes to make a dent in that by studying some of the highest energy, most dramatic, and most violent objects in space, such as black holes and neutron stars. The first mission of its kind, IXPE, hopes to uncover hidden details of our universe by studying x-rays. Here to talk about this exciting new mission is a NASA expert.
Can you tell us what the IXPE mission is?
IXPE is the first of its kind, how is IXPE different from anything we've done before?
What are some of the questions IXPE hopes to answer?
NASA has another big mission launching soon -- the James Webb Space Telescope. How will IXPE complement that?
Where can our viewers go to learn more about this mission?
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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