(Yicai Global) Jan. 31 -- China's first X-ray astronomical satellite, a hard X-ray modulation telescope named Insight has been officially put into service. The satellite has carried out in-orbit tests, including scanning and pointing observation, and achieved initial results in observations of black holes and neutron stars, state-run China News Service reported.
Insight satellite project is a major space science project to study the compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars. It embodies a new phase of China's high-energy astronomy research. The satellite will provide high-sensitivity images of celestial objects (black holes), neutron stars and binary neutron stars in distant cosmos for Chinese scientists.
The official delivery of Insight satellite yesterday marks the beginning of a new phase for the scientific research based on the satellite, the report said, citing Xiang Li-bin, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The detection of gravitational waves coming from the merger of two binary neutron stars were first announced last October. This is the first time that mankind has simultaneously detected the gravitational waves and their electromagnetic counterparts. China's Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope, or HXMT, also contributed to the detection and set a strict upper limit on gamma-ray bursts.
Since its launch last June, Insight has been operating normally and successfully passed the in-orbit tests. The energy resolution of high-energy detectors and low-energy detectors has also reached the best international level. Test results showed that the features and performance of the satellite are in line with the requirements of engineering research, and it is qualified for service.
Insight has taken part in several joint international space and ground tests, and obtained massive observational data in galactic plane scanning, black holes, neutron stars and solar flare. It has released over 30 observations of gamma ray bursts, detected the strongest neutron star field cyclotron absorption line, and completed the most accurate pulsar-based navigation test in the country.