Spacecraft and Space Missions. By: David Dickinson April 26, 0. You can unsubscribe anytime. Salvage efforts have been discontinued. Initially known as the Astro-H mission , the satellite was renamed Hitomi — "pupil of the eye" in Japanese — shortly after launch. Disaster struck on March 26th, when engineers commanded Hitomi to point at an active galactic center, one of a series of observations geared toward testing out the science instruments.
Confused about how it was oriented in space and trying to stop itself from spinning, Hitomi's control system apparently commanded a thruster jet to fire in the wrong direction — accelerating, rather than slowing, the craft's rotation. The satellite managed to make one crucial astronomical observation before the accident, capturing gas motions in a galaxy cluster in the constellation Perseus. The instrument that made the observation, a high-resolution spectrometer, had been in the works for three decades. Two earlier versions of it were lost in previous spacecraft failures. The star tracker experienced glitches whenever it passed over the eastern coast of South America, through a region known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. Here, the belts of radiation that envelop Earth dip relatively low in the atmosphere, exposing satellites to extra doses of energetic particles. By itself that should not have been a fatal problem. But the star tracker issue kicked off a series of cascading failures.
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After correcting for the point spread function of the telescope and using optically thin emission lines, we find that the line-of-sight velocity dispersion of the hot gas is remarkably low and mostly uniform. We also report the first measurement of the ion temperature in the intracluster medium, which we find to be consistent with the electron temperature. In addition, we present a new measurement of the redshift of the brightest cluster galaxy NGC Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search.