News! The first image from the IXPE mission was received by NASA. See here

Image credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/IXPE
Image credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/IXPE

The first image from the IXPE mission was recently received by NASA on Valentine's Day, yesterday, February 14, 2022. You can see it above. Polarimetry Explorer X-Ray Imaging sends its first imaging data fairly quickly, after just over 2 months. 

IXPE was launched by NASA on December 9, 2021, going through a final commissioning phase, which lasted about a month. According to the US space agency, all the instruments on board the observer are doing well without any problems being identified so far. The mission is to study and observe mysterious objects in the Universe. 

As you know, in December, NASA launched another mission: the James Webb Telescope, which also has to study mysterious objects and the past of our Universe only at a much higher level. Also, the Webb mission quickly sent the first image, you can see it here:

In the image above you can see Cassiopeia A (an object made up of the remains of a star that exploded around the 17th century). IXPE used its X-ray eyes to observe this object, and the image is spectacular. "The shock waves from the explosion have swept up surrounding gas, heating it to high temperatures and accelerating cosmic ray particles to make a cloud that glows in X-ray light," said NASA. 

About the image: 

Observations on this object have been made before, but this time IXPE sees it in a different way, offering new information about Cassiopeia A. The saturation of the magenta color is from the X-rays of IXPE. In the image you can also see the blue color, those are given by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. More precisely, the image is largely made up of IXPE's observations, but in the image, you can see parts of Chandra's X-ray observations. Chandra's data is long overdue, and IXPE's data is from January 11-18, 2022. 

It is a coincidence with this image. It consists of the observations of two missions that both had as their first observation: Cassiopeia A. NASA's Chandra mission also had the first image, Cassiopeia A. 

We have a lot of data about this mysterious object, but we still don't know if it's just an object from the remains of a supernova, a black hole, or a neutron star, but according to observations and images all together it seems to be just an object made up of the remains of a dead star.

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 15 February 2022, at 10:19 am Los Angeles time

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