NASA has planned to launch a USD 188 million science mission in 2020 that will help astronomers to explore the hidden details of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars.
Objects such as black holes can heat surrounding gases to more than a million degrees. The high-energy X-ray radiation from this gas can be polarised - vibrating in a particular direction, NASA said.
The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission will fly three space telescopes with cameras capable of measuring the polarisation of these cosmic X-rays, allowing scientists to answer fundamental questions about these turbulent and extreme environments where gravitational, electric and magnetic fields are at their limits, it said.
"We cannot directly image what is going on near objects like black holes and neutron stars, but studying the polarisation of X-rays emitted from their surrounding environments reveals the physics of these enigmatic objects," said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA.
"NASA has a great history of launching observatories in the Astrophysics Explorers Programme with new and unique observational capabilities. IXPE will open a new window on the universe for astronomers to peer through.
Today, we can only guess what we will find," said Hertz. Also, Scientists claimed to have developed a novel detection method which will discover around 10 black holes in a year. It means the number currently known within two years will be doubled with this method. Also, the scientists will also be able to unlock the history of black holes in a little more than a decade.
The method established by the Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada has implications for the field of gravitational wave astronomy and the way in which we search for black holes and other dark objects in space.
“Within the next ten years, there will be sufficient accumulated data on enough black holes that researchers can statistically analyse their properties as a population,” said Avery Broderick, the professor at the University of Waterloo.
“This information will allow us to study stellar mass black holes at various stages that often extend billions of years,” said Broderick.