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Russian-German Telescope Completes First All-Sky Hard X-Ray Survey

© Sputnik / Сергей Мамонтов / Go to the mediabankSpektr-RG at assembly plant before delivery to Baikonur
Spektr-RG at assembly plant before delivery to Baikonur - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian-German Space Observatory Spektr-RG has completed the first-ever all-sky hard X-ray survey, the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences said.
"We have made it – the ART-XC telescope of the Spektr-RG observatory has completed its first all-sky survey! As we have predicted, it took almost a half of the year, during which the telescope was permanently monitoring the sky in hard X-rays", the institute said on Wednesday.

The telescope has been scanning the celestial sphere in hard X-rays from 8 December 2019 till 10 June 2020, the institute's news release reads. The observatory has registered all space events in the energy range 4–12 kiloelectron volt (keV).

The institute said that the all-sky map with a similar resolution had been created by the German observatory ROSAT in soft X-rays 30 years ago. Other sky hard X-ray maps have a much worse resolution that the map prepared by Spektr-RG.

The Spektr-RG mission is a joint project between Roscosmos and the German space agency DLR. Spektr-RG was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 13 July 2019.

© Sputnik / Sergey Mamontov / Go to the mediabankThe Russian-German Space Observatory Spektr-RG
Russian-German Telescope Completes First All-Sky Hard X-Ray Survey - Sputnik International
The Russian-German Space Observatory Spektr-RG

For the next four years, the telescope is expected to perform eight all-sky surveys to map X-rays sources in the universe with unprecedented detail.

X-ray telescopes are used for photographing distant objects of the universe, such as clusters of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, and x-ray binary stars. The difficulty of observation in the x-ray range is that the telescope must be raised above the atmosphere of the earth, opaque to x-rays.

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