Home Uncategorized China, France launch sat to better understand universe

China, France launch sat to better understand universe


A French-Chinese satellite blasted off Saturday on a hunt for the mightiest explosions in the universe, in a notable example of cooperation between a Western power and the Asian giant.
Developed by engineers from both countries, the Space Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM) is carrying four instruments – two French, two Chinese – that will seek out gamma-ray bursts, the light from which has travelled billions of light years to reach Earth.The 930kg satellite “successfully” took off around 3pm from a space base in Xichang, China’s National Space Administration said.
Gamma-ray bursts generally occur after the explosion of huge stars – those over 20 times as big as the sun – or the fusion of compact stars. The extremely bright cosmic beams can give off a blast of energy equivalent to more than a billion billion suns.
Observing them is like “looking back in time, as the light from these objects takes a long time to reach us”, Ore Gottlieb, an astrophysicist at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Astrophysics in New York, said. The rays carry traces of the gas clouds and galaxies they pass through on their journey through space – valuable data for better understanding the history and evolution of the universe.

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