Feeds

Japanese space telescope is go

Astro-F to probe early universe

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Astro-F is go. Photo: JAXAJapan this morning sucessfully launched its Astro-F infrared imaging surveyor from its Uchinoura Space Centre. The satellite, nicknamed "Akari" or "light" took to the skies at 06:28 local time atop an M-5 rocket.

The Astro-F's 500-day mission is to participate in the international All Sky Survey of the heavens "with much better sensitivity, spatial resolution and wider wavelength coverage" than the IRAS satellite - launched in 1983 by the Netherlands, UK and US. It's equipped with "a 68.5cm telescope cooled down to 6K, and will observe in the wavelength range from 1.7 (near-infrared) to 180 (far-infrared) microns" as the Japanese Space Agency blurb puts it.

Astro-F is in a Sun synchronous polar orbit at 745km (463 miles). It orbits the Earth "above the twilight zone" in around 100 minutes, passing over the North and South Poles.

The All Sky Survey aims to probe galaxies dating back to the earliest days of the universe. Dr Stephen Serjeant, senior lecturer in astrophysics at the UK's Open University, told the BBC: "This is a tremendous new window on the primordial Universe." ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.