Hitomi User Support in Europe

The European user support activities are spread across two centres: The Science Operations Centre (SOC), located at ESAC (Spain), and the European Science Support Centre (ESSC), located at the Department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

The tasks of the SOC are focussed on supporting the European user community in the use of the allocated time for Hitomi, through handling annual calls for observing proposals and related activities.

The tasks of the ESSC are focussed on supporting the European scientific community with respect to the utilization of Hitomi.

Latest news

  • On 28 April 2016, JAXA officially announced, in a press briefing, that it is unable to expect the recovery of Hitomi, based on accumulating pieces of evidence. 
  • Update on the communication anomaly (March 29, 2016) JAXA topics
  • Hitomi communication anomaly (March 27, 2016) JAXA Press release
  • Successful launch (February 17, 2016)

Image Credit : F. Scott Porter (NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center) in APOD.

On February 17 (Wednesday), 2016 at 5:45 p.m.(Japan Standard Time) ,ASTRO-H was succesfully launched and has been renamed Hitomi, which refers to the pupil of the eye: our sight to the hot and energetic universe. The spacecraft successfully reached the intended orbit, deployed the solar arrays, and acquired the Sun.  The post-launch operation is now on-going as planned. Nominal operation procedures are followed. (The initial launch on February 12 was cancelled due to bad weather at the Tanegashima Space Center.)


You can download several factsheets/brochures about Hitomi (ASTRO-H)

  • Factsheet issued by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, in French
  • One-page summary issued by JAXA, in English
  • Press kit issued by JAXA, in English