02:40 GMT +318 October 2019
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    The regions around supermassive black holes shine brightly in X-rays

    NASA, Italian Space Agency Shake Hands on Cosmic X-Ray Exploration Project

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    The Italian Space Agency (ASI) has signed an agreement to fly three telescope systems to explore the source of cosmic X-rays that appear to originate from the creation of new stars and monster black holes, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced in a press release on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The agreement was signed by NASA acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and ASI President Roberto Battiston during a ceremony at the Paris Air Show on Thursday, the release stated.

    "The IXPE [Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer] mission, slated to launch in 2020, will fly three telescope systems capable of measuring the polarization of X-rays emitted by cosmic sources," the release stated. "By taking advantage of polarization as a tool for exploration, IXPE will provide important clues about the origins of cosmic X-rays and their interactions with matter and gravity as they travel through space."

    The mission will use three X-ray detectors which were developed in Italy and an Italian ground station located in Kenya, while NASA will supply the three X-ray telescopes, the release noted.

    The project is aimed at exploring some of the most turbulent and extreme environments in the universe, from the hottest, messiest star factories to violent jets screaming away from monster black holes, according to the release.


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