ASTRO-H launch event on Wednesday

The ASTRO-H launch has been rescheduled by the Japanese space agency JAXA to take place on Wednesday, 17th of February at 9:45 European Time. After the cancellation last Friday, SRON will again organize an event with talks on the importance of the mission and a livestream to witness the launch at SRON.

Astro-H JAXA1

Invited guests and the media are welcome to join SRON from 9:15 onwards that day. Live broadcasting will start from around 9:25 onwards and be shown at SRON. Again, it cannot be ruled out that due to weather conditions the launch will be re-scheduled at a late stage.

ASTRO-H will use observations of cosmic X-rays to study collapsing material in the vicinity of black holes, turbulences in clusters of galaxies, the shockwaves caused by supernova explosions and large-scale structures in the universe. Dark matter and the acceleration of cosmic particles to high energies shall also be investigated by the mission.

SRON has developed a filter wheel for ASTRO-H’s Soft X-ray Spectrometer (together with the University of Geneva) and the onboard calibration source. The filter wheel includes a set of filters which can be used to filter the light of strong X-ray sources and thus optimizes the science return . The onboard calibration source allows continuous corrections for small fluctuations in the energy scale of the imaging spectrometer, which will have an unprecedented spectral resolution (R=1000).

The event at SRON will consist of two parts:

> 09.15 10.30:        Livestream of the launch which takes place in Japan (Tanegashima Space Center)

> 11.00 12.00:        Talks by SRON scientists: Overview of the ASTRO-H mission, SRON’s hardware contributions and the expected breakthrough science

Following the launch the mission will be renamed. Representatives of the press who would like to attend the event can contact SRON spokesman Frans Stravers,