Published: July 20, 2018 1:16:26 pm
"We should have all the current matter that we had when the universe was 400,000 years old," said Philip Kaaret, senior researcher at the University of Iowa (UI) in the US, who leads the mission.
Researchers think that the missing matter in hot gas can be either in the space between galaxies or in galactic halos, augmented components surrounding individual galaxies. HaloSat will study gas in the halo of the Milky Way, which is about 2 million degrees Celsius. At such high temperatures, oxygen sheds most of its eight electrons and produces the X-rays HaloSat will measure.
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Other X-ray telescopes, such as the NASA's Neutron Star, Interior Composition Explorer, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, examine individual sources by identifying small sources Look at heavenly places. HaloSat will look at the whole sky, 100 square degrees at a time, which will help determine if the diffused galactic halo is more like a fried egg or a sphere.
"If you think of the galactic halo in the fried egg model, it will have a different brightness distribution when you look straight ahead from Earth than when you look at a larger angle," said Keith Jahoda, astrophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center NASA in the US. "If it's in a quasi-spherical shape compared to the galaxy's dimensions, then it's expected to have almost the same brightness in all directions," Jahoda said.
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The shape of the halo will determine its mass, which will help scientists to understand whether the missing matter of the universe is in galactic halos or elsewhere. HaloSat will collect most of its data over 45 minutes on the night half of its 90-minute orbit around the Earth. During the day, the satellite charges itself with its solar cells and transmits data to the Wallops Flight Facility of NASA in Virginia, which forwards the data to the Operations Control Center of the Mission at Blue Canyon Technologies in Colorado. HaloSat measures about 10x20x30 cm and weighs about 12 kg.
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