Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope
Rendering of HXMT
Mission typeAstronomy
OperatorCAS / IHEP
COSPAR ID2017-034A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.42758[1]
Mission durationElapsed: 6 years, 10 months, 9 days[2]
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass2,800 kg (6,200 lb)[2]
Dimensions2.0 × 2.0 × 2.8 m (6.6 × 6.6 × 9.2 ft)[2]
Start of mission
Launch dateJune 14, 2017, 03:00:00 (2017-06-14UTC03) UTC [2]
RocketLong March 4B[2]
Launch site603 Launch Pad of the LC43 Launch Complex, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center[2]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric[1]
RegimeLow Earth[1]
Semi-major axis6,920 km (4,300 mi)[1]
Perigee altitude545 km (339 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude554.1 km (344.3 mi)[1]
Period95.5 minutes[1]
Mean motion15.079 rev/day[1]
Epoch2017-06-22 11:32:39 UTC[1]
The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) launch by CZ-4B rocket

Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) also known as Insight (Chinese: 慧眼)[3] is a Chinese X-ray space observatory, launched on June 15, 2017[2] to observe black holes, neutron stars, active galactic nuclei and other phenomena based on their X-ray and gamma-ray emissions.[4] It is based on the JianBing 3 imagery reconnaissance satellite series platform.

The project, a joint collaboration of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Tsinghua University, has been under development since 2000.


The main scientific instrument is an array of 18 NaI(Tl)/CsI(na) slat-collimated "phoswich" scintillation detectors, collimated to 5.7°×1° overlapping fields of view.[5] The main NaI detectors have an area of 286 cm2 each, and cover the 20–200 keV energy range. Data analysis is planned to be by a direct algebraic method, "direct demodulation",[6] which has shown promise in de-convolving the raw data into images while preserving excellent angular and energy resolution.

The satellite has three payloads, the high energy X-ray Telescope (20–250 keV), the medium energy X-ray telescope (5–30 keV), and the low energy X-ray telescope (1–15 keV)[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k HXMT (HUIYAN)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Rui C. Barbosa (14 June 2017). "China launches X-ray telescope via Long March 4B". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  3. ^ "China launches space telescope to search for black holes, pulsars - Xinhua | English.news.cn". news.xinhuanet.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2017.
  4. ^ Andrew Jones. "Tiangong-2 to launch next week in step towards Chinese space station". gbtimes.com. Sep 8, 2016. Archived from the original on 2018-03-19.
  5. ^ HXMT.cn, Configuration Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (Hard X-ray telescope design) c.2004
  6. ^ HXMT.cn, The direct demodulation method Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (Imaging by direct deconvolution) c.2004