Russia X-ray telescope (Photo Credit: roscosmos)
In space, black holes are one of the most complex entities. Apart from taking photographs, modern science is still unable to answer questions regarding these cosmic bodies. So far, we only know that black hole is a region of space-time exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it. Russia has successfully launched Spektr-RG, an X-ray telescope co-developed with Germany's help to discover millions of black holes and study them.
Yes, you read it right. Russia is back in the business of space observation after losing control of a radio telescope at the start of this year.
Coming back to Russia’s Spektr-RG, the spacecraft will take 100 days to reach its final destination of Lagrange Point 2, where it will conduct studies in stable conditions a million miles from Earth. As soon as it reaches there, it could significantly reshape human understanding of the universe.
According to a report by engadget.com, Russia’s Spektr-RG is expected to conduct an exceptionally detailed 6.5-year survey that could discover roughly 100,000 galaxy clusters, hundreds of thousands of active stars and about 3 million supermassive black holes.
In addition to providing a more detailed map of the cosmos, Spektr-RG could help understand the formation of black holes, the distribution of matter in the universe and the influences of dark energy on cosmic expansion.
Well, it is worth mentioning here that this is a milestone for Russian astronomy. While the telescope's final design varies significantly from the original concept and suffered multiple delays, it puts Russia on the cutting edge of X-ray astronomy. The existing X-ray telescopes have made major discoveries.
Recently, a study revealed that two gigantic black holes are now heading towards a cosmic collision. According to a study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, the two massive black holes, each 800 million times more massive than the Sun, will collide around 2.5 billion light-years away from Earth.