Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) Featured in Nature Astronomy

On 5/10/23, Astrophysical Journal Letters published “X-Ray Polarization of BL Lacertae in Outburst” by Abel L. Peirson et al. This is the 21st discovery paper published by the IXPE Science Team. Two additional “discovery papers” have been published by authors external to the IXPE Science Team.

On 5/19/23, Nature Astronomy published “A space-borne X-ray imaging polarimeter” by Martin C. Weisskopf (MSFC Emeritus) et al., as the Mission Control article for the May issue, which also featured an IXPE-measured magnetic-field map of the Crab pulsar wind nebula on its cover. [NB: This issue of Nature Astronomy also includes the research article “Simultaneous space and phase resolved X-ray polarimetry of the Crab pulsar and nebula” and the research briefing “Revealing the magnetic field geometry in the Milky Way’s most efficient particle accelerator”, which were published online in April and reported in a previous bi-weekly note.]

On 6/5/23, NASA’s SMD Astrophysics Division notified the IXPE Project that the requested mission extension has been approved.  With this extension, the IXPE mission will continue to operate beyond its two-year baseline, incorporating a General Observer (GO) program running 2024 February through 2025 September. Extension beyond that date will be determined by the next Astrophysics Senior Review of Operating Missions, scheduled for 2025.


IXPE Nature Astronomy Cover
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