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Science

Japan's Astro-H to peek 8 billion years into the past

An X-ray image of the Centaurus cluster shows it is covered by high-temperature plasma. (Photo courtesy of JAXA, University of Tokyo)

TOKYO   A satellite capable of looking 8 billion years into the past is about to give astronomers a whole new glimpse of the universe.

     The Astro-H X-ray orbiting observatory, which was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwest Japan, on Feb. 17,  will observe X-rays emitted by black holes and other cosmic bodies. With instruments 100 times more sensitive than those of its predecessor, the new satellite should help shed light on the history of the universe.

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