New Discovery of China’s Hard X-Ray Telescope Satellite

Recently held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, the first China Space Science Conference, in addition to announcing the progress of manned lunar exploration and testing of the major news, China’s first hard X-ray modulation telescope (HXMT) satellite “Insight” the latest scientific results have also been announced.

The “Eye Eye” satellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on June 15, 2017 and officially delivered on January 30, 2018, and has been in orbit for more than two years, carrying out more than 1000 observations of various kinds, and obtaining 29Tb of scientific data.

In particular, it successfully monitored the electromagnetic counterparts of the twin neutron stars and the gravitational waves, completed the pulsar navigation experiment, and the positioning accuracy reached within 10 km (3 times the standard deviation), further verifying the feasibility of the spacecraft’s autonomous navigation using pulsar.


According to the newly released results, China’s scientific research team used the “eye” satellite to make a series of observations, the black hole system quasi-cycle oscillation phenomenon of the energy limit from 30keV (thousand electron volts) to 100keV, opening a new window to study the black hole system.

We know that there is a binary system in the universe consisting of black holes or neutron stars and a normal star, where matter from normal stars falls to a black hole or neutron star with strong gravitational forces, forming a accretion disk that rotates at high speed around black holes and neutron stars, and emits intense X-ray radiation. ”

Using the “Eye Eye” satellite, the first time that the neutron star X-ray binary star suddenly observed the sudden change of the accretion disk state when the flow strength is at a specific value, the theory that the radiation pressure of light causes the mutation of the structure of the accretion disk has been put forward for nearly half a century.

“The Eye” satellite is China’s first space astronomical satellite, is able to achieve wide-band, large field of view X-ray survey and can study black holes, neutron stars and other high-energy objects of short-term light change and wide-band energy spectrum of space X-ray telescope, but also with high sensitivity gamma-ray storm all-day monitor.

According to the introduction, compared with similar satellites abroad, it has the advantages of covering a wide energy segment, a large effective area in high-energy X-ray energy segment, high time resolution and high proportion of effective working time, and can explore areas closer to the black hole horizon or neutron star surface than ever before.

One of the meanings of the name “Eye” is in honor of the late he Zehui, a scientist who promoted the development of high-energy astrophysics in China.

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