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Japan’s Hitomi observatory made cosmic discovery before failing

12 July 2016 Stephen Clark

Japan’s doomed Hitomi observatory peeled back a veil on the inner workings of the Perseus cluster of galaxies before the satellite spun out of control earlier this year, revealing in unprecedented detail how gas heated to millions of degrees behaves around an unseen supermassive black hole, scientists said.

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LISA Pathfinder success bolsters plan for gravitational wave observatory

9 June 2016 Stephen Clark

Europe’s LISA Pathfinder mission — a fundamental physics lab launched last year to a point a million miles from Earth — has demonstrated the mind-boggling technology required for a future space-based observatory to listen for faint, low-frequency vibrations emitted by invisible objects in the most distant pockets of the universe, scientists said this week.

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NASA picks candidates for new space telescope

4 August 2015 Stephen Clark

NASA has selected three finalists for a new Explorer-class astrophysics satellite mission scheduled to launch by the end of 2020, and two of the proposals aim to fulfill similar goals to an X-ray telescope shelved after cost overruns in 2012.