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China launches first X-ray space telescope

China has launched its first space-based X-ray telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts.

A rocket carrying the 2.5-tonne telescope was launched into orbit on 15 June, state media reported. The rocket was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, in northwestern China.

The telescope, named Insight, will be used to help scientists understand the evolution of black holes, study the interiors of pulsars and observe their strong magnetic fields. Astronomers will be able to search for gamma-ray bursts and study how pulsars may be used for spacecraft navigation.

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