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Astro-H (also known as Hitomi or "Eye") is an X-ray astronomy collaboration between the Japanese space agency (JAXA) and NASA. Astro-H is the sixth X-ray observatory that JAXA has developed, and is the fourth that has had NASA participation. Astro-H will explore the extreme universe that is abundant with high-energy phenomena around black holes and supernova explosions, and observe a cluster of galaxies filled with high-temperature plasma.

To accomplish these goals, Astro-H carries four instruments, allowing observations in the range 0.1-600 keV. The instruments are: (1) Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS), 0.3-12 keV; (2) Hard X-ray Imager (HXI), 5-80 keV; (3) Soft X-ray Imager (SXI), <10 keV; and, (4) Soft Gamma-ray Detector (SGD), 30-600 keV. All of the instruments share a common field-of-view.

Astro-H will be launched into a circular orbit with an altitude between 500-600 km.

Alternate Names

  • 41337
  • Hitomi
  • AstroH

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2016-02-17
Launch Vehicle: H-2A
Launch Site: Tanegashima, Japan
Mass: 2600 kg

Funding Agencies

  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)


  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II



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