Completion of the HXT-1 mirror section

The hard X-ray telescopes on Astro-H will represent the first telescopes Japan has flown on a satellite. The mirror section the first of the two telescopes (HXT-1) has finally been completed. Inside the cylindrical object in the picture, about 1300 hard X-ray reflecting mirrors have been packed into the housing. These mirrors consist of thin sheets of aluminum foil folded into a cone shape. The surface of these sheets (the inner surface of the cones) have been coated by platinum and carbon to form a multi-layer membrane, and the mirrors will make use of the principle of Bragg reflection to reflect hard X-rays. The mirrors were manufactured at Nagoya University over a period of one year, and were placed into the housing one-by-one. Manufacturing and putting together the mirrors was a very painstaking process, requiring a great deal of hard work! The completion of work on this mirror was reported in the Chunichi Shinbun (newspaper) on June 5, in the Yomiuri Shinbun on June 6 and in the Asahi Shinbun on July 2.

Soon, work will begin to attach a device known as a pre-collimator at the front of the mirror section. This device will act in the same role as the hood of a telephoto lens, preventing stray X-rays from entering into the telescope. Once the pre-collimator has been attached, the HXT-1 will finally be complete.

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