NASA will develop a new telescope that looks at polarized X-ray emissions triggered by black holes, neutron stars and other high-temperature phenomenon.
Slated to launch in 2020, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, or IXPE, actually consists of three telescopes with cameras that will be able to detect how light is polarized, or skewed in a particular direction.
NASA says the information will allow scientists to answer fundamental questions about the turbulent environments around stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars.
"We can only guess what we will find," NASA's chief astrophysicist Paul Hertz said in a statement. "We cannot directly image what's going on near objects like black holes and neutron stars, but studying the polarization of X-rays emitted from their surrounding environments reveals the physics of these enigmatic objects."
RELATED: These Trippy Dots Reveal the Growth of Monster Black Holes
IXPE was selected from among three projects vying for funding under NASA's Astrophysics Explorers Program.