New NASA Spacecraft Aims to Study some of the Most Dramatic and Violent Phenomena in our Universe
NASA is gearing up to launch a new set of eyes toward the cosmos. On Dec. 9th, NASA will launch the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer or IXPE spacecraft that will help us better understand some of the most extreme objects in the universe. IXPE [pronounced: Icks Pea] has three telescopes that will be looking at some of the highest energy, most dramatic, and most violent objects in the universe that challenge our ideas about modern physics- such as black holes and neutron stars. These mysterious and violent stellar phenomena naturally emit X-rays, which is just what IXPE is going to study.
X-rays originate from places where matter is under extreme conditions – violent collisions, enormous explosions, 10-million-degree temperatures, fast rotations, and strong magnetic fields. X-rays hold the key to understanding these phenomena, but because Earth’s atmosphere blocks them from reaching us they can only be observed by telescopes in orbit.
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Suggested Anchor Intro: Space is filled with interesting phenomena we don’t fully understand. One NASA mission launching tomorrow hopes to make a dent in that by studying some of the highest energy, most dramatic, and most violent objects in space, such as black holes and neutron stars. The first mission of its kind, the IXPE spacecraft hopes to uncover hidden details of our universe by studying x-rays. Here to talk about this exciting new mission is NASA expert XX.
Suggested Questions: Can you tell us what the IXPE mission is? IXPE is the first of its kind, how is IXPE different from anything we’ve done before? What are some of the questions IXPE hopes to answer? NASA has another big mission launching soon -- the James Webb Space Telescope. How will IXPE complement that? Where can our viewers go to learn more about this mission?
Canned interview with Dr. Martin Weisskopf / IXPE Principal Investigator. TRT 4:18. Full transcript is available under the download button. Clip includes canned interview and associated b-roll which is also posted separately above this video.