Hitomi's revolutionary Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS), developed and built by Goddard scientists working closely with colleagues from several institutions in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands, spent more than two and a half days observing a wide area in the cluster's core. The resulting X-ray spectrum, which provides 30 times the detail of the best previous observation, unveiled a rich landscape of X-ray emission lines from iron, nickel, chromium, and manganese -- metals forged in billions of massive stars in the cluster's galaxies and dispersed when they exploded as supernovae.
By Francis Reddy
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Editor: Ashley Morrow