This telescope was first announced in 2017. It will be the first X-ray telescope to have the ability to sense polarization. X-rays are high-energy light waves made from electromagnetic radiation. The light we see around us is unpolarized, which means that it is made up of electric and magnetic energy that has no specific direction. In contrast, in polarized light, the electric and magnetic energy travels in a specific direction. Polarized light is important because it can provide information about magnetic fields and chemical makeup.
NASA on Thursday launched the IXPE telescope on a Falcon 9 rocket developed by America’s SpaceX. SpaceX has tweeted a video of its launch. IXPE has three telescopes that will help monitor and measure the characteristics of light. These include the direction of light, time of arrival, energy and polarization. According to a report by MIT Technology Review, IXPE will study more than 50 high-energy objects in space for the next two years. These also include black holes.
The report states that IXPE may provide more information about neutron stars and black holes. However, IXPE is smaller in size than the Chandra Observatory, NASA’s flagship X-ray telescope. NASA is launching its first Artemis mission to the Moon early next year, which is going to be special in many ways. The famous and touching character ‘Snoopy’ from the comic strip, ‘Peanuts’ will be a part of this mission, that is, he will go to the Moon. Snoopy has been associated with NASA for more than four decades. It has also been a mascot for the protection of space craft since the Apollo era. The Lunar Module was nicknamed “Snoopy” during the Apollo 10 mission in 1969, because its job was to look around the surface of the Moon to find the landing site for the Apollo 11 mission.
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