China launched x-ray space telescope to study black holes

© ESA / Hubble, ESO, M. Cosplay black hole. Archival photoChina launched x-ray space telescope to study black holes© ESA / Hubble, ESO, M. Kornmesser

China on Thursday launched into space its first x-ray space telescope Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), which will observe black holes, according to Xinhua news Agency.

The telescope was launched into orbit at the altitude of 550 kilometers above Earth with the help of the carrier rocket «long March 4B» launch which carried out at 11.00 local time from the Baikonur Juyuan in the Gobi desert.

Earlier, the chief researcher of the telescope at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Zhang Xuannan said that the space telescope has unique capabilities for observing high-energy cosmic objects such as black holes and neutron stars. Chinese scientists hope that it will help solve such mysteries as the evolution of black holes and strong magnetic fields of neutron stars.

According to the scientist, the Chinese space telescope compared with other x-ray satellites has a greater detection area, over a wide energy range and field of view. HXMT will work on a wide energy range 1-250 Kev and will be able to perform tasks that previously required several satellites.