Russia launches X-ray telescope for research into black holes

Roskosmos has launched a rocket containing a telescope with which X-ray images can be made. According to the Russian space agency, this should uncover undiscovered black holes.

This is the so-called Spektr-RG X-ray telescope, which was launched from the Baikonur spaceport with a Proton M rocket. According to Roskosmos, the satellite with the telescope on top has been successfully orbited and all systems are working properly. Germany made a major contribution to the construction of the telescope: researchers from the Max Planck Institute, in collaboration with Russian researchers, built an X-ray module for the satellite, named eRosita.

The intention is that Spektr-RG will investigate the universe for black holes in the coming years. The project will take approximately 6.5 years and during that time, according to the space agency, around 100,000 clusters of galaxies must be investigated. According to calculations, that could lead to the discovery of around 3 million super-heavy black holes.

The research should shed more light on how matter is distributed in the universe, and what role the dark energy phenomenon plays. When the first results will be published is not yet known; the researchers are first busy completing the tests.

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