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Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope

Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) also known as Insight (Chinese: 慧眼)[3] is a Chinese X-ray space observatory, launched on June 15, 2017[2] to observe black holes, neutron stars, active galactic nuclei and other phenomena based on their X-ray and gamma-ray emissions.[4] It is China's first astronomy satellite.[5] It is based on the JianBing 3 imagery reconnaissance satellite series platform.

Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope
Mission type Astronomy
Operator CAS / IHEP
SATCAT no. 42758[1]
Mission duration Elapsed: 5 months, 7 days[2]
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass 2,800 kg (6,200 lb)[2]
Dimensions 2.0 × 2.0 × 2.8 m (6.6 × 6.6 × 9.2 ft)[2]
Start of mission
Launch date June 14, 2017, 03:00:00 (2017-06-14UTC03) UTC [2]
Rocket Long March 4B[2]
Launch site 603 Launch Pad of the LC43 Launch Complex, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center[2]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric[1]
Regime Low Earth[1]
Semi-major axis 6,920 km (4,300 mi)[1]
Eccentricity 0.0006597[1]
Perigee 545 km (339 mi)[1]
Apogee 554.1 km (344.3 mi)[1]
Inclination 43.0°[1]
Period 95.5 minutes[1]
Mean motion 15.079 rev/day[1]
Epoch 2017-06-22 11:32:39 UTC[1]

The project, a joint collaboration of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Tsinghua University, has been under development since 2000.


The main scientific instrument is an array of 18 NaI(Tl)/CsI(na) slat-collimated "phoswich" scintillation detectors, collimated to 5.7°×1° overlapping fields of view.[6] The main NaI detectors have an area of 286 cm2 each, and cover the 20—200 keV energy range. Data analysis is planned to be by a direct algebraic method, "direct demodulation",[7] which has shown promise in de-convolving the raw data into images while preserving excellent angular and energy resolution.

The satellite has three payloads, the high energy X-ray Telescope (20-250 keV), the medium energy X-ray telescope (5-30 keV), and the low energy X-ray telescope (1-15 keV)[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k HXMT (HUIYAN)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Rui C. Barbosa (14 June 2017). "China launches X-ray telescope via Long March 4B". Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "China launches space telescope to search for black holes, pulsars - Xinhua |". 
  4. ^ Jones, Andrew (8 September 2016). "Tiangong-2 to launch next week in step towards Chinese space station". gbtimes. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  5. ^ SpaceDaily, "China Focus: Timeline for China's space research revealed", Xinhua, 4 September 2012
  6. ^, Configuration Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (Hard X-ray telescope design) c.2004
  7. ^, The direct demodulation method Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (Imaging by direct deconvolution) c.2004