IXPE: Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer
Investigating Physics in the Extreme Environments of Black Holes and Neutron Stars
IXPE Will Enable the Measurement of X-Ray Polarization
For example, this mission will allow for a new and unique way of measuring the geometry of extreme magnetic fields over a wide range of spatial scales, from the polar jets of Active Galactic Nuclei, to the near-surface of extremely magnetic neutron stars called “magnetars”.
What We're Doing
As the spacecraft provider, Ball leveraged its BCP heritage, a satellite bus that has a history of exceeding mission design life. The BCP has a broad spectrum of capabilities, is highly-reliable and has proven stability and pointing performance, which are essential for astrophysics missions. For example, the versatile BCP line has flown in a variety of orbits with a wide assortment of payloads, including electro-optical payloads (imagers, spectrometers and photometers) with high-accuracy pointing requirements such as NASA’s Kepler telescope.
Similar to NASA’s Kepler mission, students and professionals are operating the IXPE spacecraft from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).