Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, commonly known as IXPE or SMEX-14, is a space observatory with three identical telescopes designed to measure the polarization of cosmic X-rays of Explorer program. The observatory, which was launched 9 December 2021, is an international collaboration between NASA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).
The mission will study exotic astronomical objects and permit mapping the magnetic fields of black holes, neutron stars, pulsars, supernova remnants, magnetars, quasars, and active galactic nuclei. The high-energy X-ray radiation from these objects' surrounding environment can be polarized – vibrating in a particular direction. Studying the polarization of X-rays reveals the physics of these objects and can provide insights into the high-temperature environments where they are created.
Approximately 4 1/2" by 3 1/2"