Transcripts of 12297_Hitomi_SXS_FINAL_ProRes_1920x1080_2997

(rocket launch noise) Lift off. With the successful launch of Japans Hitomi satellite. X-ray astronomers anticipated a host of scientific breakthroughs. Tragically Hitomi broke apart just five weeks after launch. The mission ending almost before it could begin, almost because an advanced instrument called the Soft Xray Spectrometer (SXS) returned early results that will be studied for years to come. Developed and built by Goddard scientists working closely with colleagues from several institutions in Japan. Hitomi's Soft X-ray Spectrometer proved its ability to separate X-ray colors with unprecedented detail. Astronomers typically learn about the composition, temperature, and motions of cosmic sources by spreading light into a rainbow-like spectrum. Hitomi's Soft X-ray Spectrometer works differently. It used a microcalorimeter to measure the minute about of heat delivered when individual X-ray photons struck its 35 pixel detector array. The results are simply amazing. During the instruments check out period astronomers targeted NGC 1275, a galaxy powered by a supermassive black hole. It resides at the heart of the Perseus galaxy cluster. A collection of thousands of galaxies immersed in vast cloud of superheated gas. This multimillion degree gas makes ths Perseus galaxy cluster the brightest in the sky when seen in X-rays but until now details about the motion of this gas were out of reach. Here's the best previous spectrum of the cluster from Japan's Suzaku mission. And here's what Hitomi saw, a landscape of X-ray peaks and valleys corresponding to emissions from various chemical elements, particularly iron and nickel. These elements forged in massive stars were distributed by billions of supernovae explosions throughout the clusters history. The spectrum has thirty times the resolution of the one captured by Suzaku. This information has, for the first time, allowed scientist's to map how X-ray emitting gas moves in a cluster of galaxies. One surprise, the gas is moving hundreds of thousands of miles an hour toward and away from us. This is actually surprisingly slow, when you consider that the gas is continually stirred by bubbles blown out from the active galaxy. The spectrum also reveals contradictions with current models of how hot plasma emits X-rays, that astronomers will work to resolve. Although its mission was cut short, Hitomi's Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS) proved to be the technological marvel its designers expected. It will lead to a new generation of instruments, capable of distinguishing tens of thousands of X-ray colors while also capturing sharp images, Greatly advancing our understanding of the X-ray universe. (music) (music) (beeping) (beeping) (beeping)