Press Release


First Announcement of Opportunity (AO-1) for Observations with "Suzaku" and Publication of Test Observation Data

December 2, 2005 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The 23rd scientific satellite "Suzaku," which was launched by JAXA from the Uchinoura Space Center on July 10, 2005 (Japan Standard Time, JST), has completed its initial verification operations of the satellite and its onboard equipment, and is now performing test observations. JAXA made an international Announcement of Opportunity (AO) on its website for researchers on Nov. 17, 2005 (JST), to start international AO observations in April, 2006.

JAXA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the European Space Agency (ESA) are in charge of receiving applications and selecting proposals. Researchers from the U.S. and EU countries are asked to submit their proposals to NASA and the ESA, respectively, and all other researchers are to submit their proposals to JAXA. The First Announcement of Opportunity (AO-1) is for a one year observation period starting on April 1, 2005, and its submission deadline is at noon on January 7 (Sat.), 2006 (JST). The selection will be made by the end of March 2006 (JST).

For more details, please refer to the following website for researchers.

For researchers who are preparing to propose an observation project, JAXA published some initial observation data on Dec. 2 (Fri). To date, the Suzaku has observed over 50 astronomical bodies including nearby fixed stars, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei where a gigantic black hole is believed to exist, and galaxy clusters (clusters of millions of galaxies). Among them, we chose and published the following seven pieces of observation data, which typically show the observation ability of the "Suzaku."

  • Supernova remnant E0102.2-7219
  • Radio galaxy Centaurus A (Cen A)
  • Galaxy cluster Abell 2052
  • Pulsar PSR 1509-58
  • Fixed star Eta Carinae
  • Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A)
  • North Ecliptic Pole

The above data and necessary software for data analysis can be downloaded from the website for Suzaku researchers.

Observation results by the Suzaku have also been reported at international research meetings, and part of the report documents are available on the following website. Please take a look at it.

* The 23rd scientific satellite "Suzaku"
JAXA launched the "Suzaku" on the M-V Launch Vehicle No. 6 on July 10, 2005 (JST). It was the fifth X-ray astronomy satellite launched in Japan. The observation equipment was developed by a collaboration of researchers from JAXA, the University of Tokyo, Saitama University, RIKEN, Rikkyo University, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Kogakuin University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Kanazawa University, Hiroshima University, Ehime University, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, University of Wisconsin, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to the above research institutes and universities, researchers from Iwate University, Gunma Astronomical Observatory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nihon Fukushi University, Kobe University, and the University of Miyazaki participated in satellite operations and the development of data processing software.
After its launch on Aug. 8 (JST), an anomaly was found in one of the pieces of observation equipment, the X-ray spectroscope (X-ray micro-calorimeter), and it stopped operating. But the X-ray telescopes, X-ray CCD cameras, and Hard X-ray detector were smoothly turned on and completed initial operations in August, and the expected high performance of broad-range spectroscopic ability was verified. Currently test observations are underway.

For inquiries:
JAXA Public Affairs Department
Tel: +81-3-6266-6413 to 7, Fax: +81-3-6266-6910