National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Conclusion of Agreement for the Launch of Nano-JASMINE

| Science


Nano-JASMINE is an astrometry satellite mission using a very small satellite with the weight of 35kg. The aperture size of a primary mirror is 5 cm. Nano-JASMINE is developed mainly by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(NAOJ), the University of Tokyo, and Kyoto University. Nano-JASMINE will be launched by CYCLONE-4 launch vehicle developed by Yuzhnoye State Design Office in Ukraine. It is determined that the satellite will be launched in August 2011 from a launch site at Alcantara in Brazil. The launch service is operated by the Alcantara Cyclone Space binational company(ACS). NAOJ and the University of Tokyo made an agreement on the 26th day of February, 2010 with ACS for the launch of the Nano-JASMINE satellite.

Nano-JASMINE, the first astrometry satellite mission in Japan, will make it possible to promote Japanese future space astrometry missions. This satellite is also the second astrometric satellite in the world since the first astrometry satellite, the Hipparcos launched by ESA in 1989. The utilization of a CCD sensor and some developed technologies for small satellites introduced in Nano-JASMINE make it possible to achieve an astrometric accuracy comparable to that achieved by the Hipparcos although the size of Nano-JASMINE is much smaller than that of the Hipparcos. Nano-JASMINE will measure the positions, annual parallaxes, and proper motions of stars brighter than zw = 7.5 with an accuracy of about 3 mas(milliarcsec).

The astrometry catalog will be published in 2014 after 2 years operations of the satellite and the data analysis. The success of this observation will provide us the first astrometry catalog of all the sky using the zw-band(0.6μm -- 1.0μm) Furthermore, combining the Hipparcos catalog with that of Nano-JASMINE will provide us to obtain the proper motions with a ten times higher accuracy than that of the Hipparcos calatog.