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HomeDigit NewsThe Russian orbital observatory "Spektr-RG" has been in space for 3 years...

The Russian orbital observatory “Spektr-RG” has been in space for 3 years already: a black hole – a “devourer” of stars, a thermonuclear supernova, the brightest cosmic “cow” and much more

On July 13, 2019, the Spektr-RG astrophysical observatory, developed at the Lavochkin Research and Production Association, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The press service of Roscosmos spoke about the results of three years of work of the observatory.

Spektr-RG is the first domestic observatory operating in the vicinity of the L2 Lagrange point “Earth-Sun”, at a distance of about one and a half million kilometers from the Earth. In this vicinity, the telescope remains stationary relative to the Earth and the Sun, which allows it to make observations around the clock.

According to the original program, the observatory was supposed to work in space for at least 6.5 years, of which 4 years – in the mode of reviewing the starry sky, and 2.5 years – in the mode of scanning and point observation of objects in the Universe. However, on February 26, 2022, one of the two telescopes on board the observatory, the German eRosita, was put into “sleep” mode and the view of the sky was suspended.

The Russian orbital observatory

Nevertheless, the Russian telescope ART-XC named after M.N. Pavlinsky continues to work as part of an updated program of scientific observations, compiled taking into account the results already obtained and optimized for the characteristics of the ART-XC telescope, which was previously planned to begin after the completion of the review in 2024.

For three years, the Russian spacecraft Spektr-RG has made many outstanding discoveries, including a black hole – a “devourer” of stars, a thermonuclear supernova, a million quasars and 20 thousand massive clusters of galaxies, more than 300 thousand stars of the Milky Way and the brightest cosmic ” cow”.

The Russian orbital observatory

The latter is the “most mysterious and extremely few” subclass, the so-called objects of type AT2018cow (the letters formed into the English word cow, “cow”, which gave such an unusual name to this class – objects of the “cow” type). As noted in Roskosmos, we probably witnessed the birth of a new magnetar – a neutron star with a superstrong magnetic field (~ 1014 Gauss) or a black hole in a distant galaxy.

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