Rossiisky kosmos journal has carried an article by RAS Corresponding Member Lev Zelyony, director of the RAS Institute of Space Studies (ISS), with analysis of the results of a number of experiments on a near-Earth orbit and of processing the obtained information, with plans and prospects discussed for further exploration of the Universe* under the Federal Space Program for the period from 2006 through 2015.
First, the author, assessed the results of the Integral observatory's activity - the ESA, Roskosmos and NASA joint project** (2002), with Russia's researchers granted prior rights for a quarter of the observation time. The initial sessions of its operation produced many striking discoveries. For instance, in the course of research a group of new X-ray sources were revealed described as "absorbed". They most probably represent a special class of dual space systems, with one of the components in the form of an ordinary star, but many times larger than the Sun, and the other one-a neutron star. The former star's matter is being absorbed by the gravitation field of the latter and falls on it, with the result of an immense amount of energy released. As distinct from the Earth, powerful star winds are typical of those celestial bodies, and, as a result, they are wrapped in a dense matter layer absorbing the radiation. With more powerful energies, the star wind makes radiation weaker and, owing to this effect, the source looks very bright. It has been proved theoretically that if the star is ten times larger than the Sun, the amount of energy released by it is greater in the same proportion. Consequently, it will more rapidly consume the stock of its thermonuclear fuel. Those stars are comparatively short-lived. Integral has revealed their mighty X-ray sources, although the star wind clouds conceal many details from the telescopes operating in the range of lower energies.
Moreover, having revealed the nature of our Galaxy's background radiation evenly d ... Read more