Students track, observe damaged Hitomi X-ray satellite and its debris with optical telescope

May 3, 2016
Hitomi, also known as ASTRO-H, was a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite launched in February--it experienced a catastrophic event on March 26.
Hitomi, also known as ASTRO-H, was a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite that was launched in February. The $275 million spacecraft was 46 feet long when deployed and weighed 6,000 lbs. It carried a number of scientific instruments, including a unique device called an X-ray microcalorimeter.

It experienced a catastrophic event on March 26 during its first test observations 360 miles above the Earth. The U.S. Joint Space Operations Center detected several fragments of debris in the area and Hitomi's orbit suddenly changed. Now engineering physics students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach Campus have made several high cadence telescope observations of the satellite and several of its debris pieces. Read the full story on Phys.org.

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