The Chinese telescope Lobster Eye Imager for Astronomy (LEIA) had its first images released. According to those responsible for the project, the photographic records show the center of the Milky Way, the binary star system Scorpius-X and the nebula Laço do Cisne.
Launched aboard the SATech-01 satellite, LEIA promises to pave the way for more complex missions in the future. The telescope has 36 plates that reflect X-rays towards a common center, where they are collected by four sensors.
According to Chinese researchers, these are the first images of objects seen in X-rays in a wide field of viewby a focusing imaging telescope. The technique used in LEIA promises to deliver a wide field of view.
“The results provide a solid basis for the development of present and proposed wide-field X-ray missions with micropore ‘lobster eye’ optical systems,” comment the Chinese researchers.
Still according to those responsible for the project, the telescope’s wide viewing angle added to its image capture features offer greater sensitivity for all sky monitoring and greater resolution for the so-called “soft” X-rays.
LEIA is an experimental version of the module that will be launched next year aboard the Einstein spacecraft, also from China. It will go with the Wide-field X-ray Telescope (WXT). this equipment will be used to observe energetic events such as supernovae.