Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

X-Ray Astronomy

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X-Ray Astronomy

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One of the major projects of the X-ray astronomy group at MPE in the 1990's was ROSAT (launched 1st June 1990) which provided the first all-sky survey with an imaging X-ray telescope in the 0.1 - 2.4 keV energy band. The all-sky survey data as well as the data from more than 9000 pointed observations performed until February 1999 provide an inexhaustible harvest of valuable scientific data.
Current research activities concentrate on the analysis of data obtained from the X-ray observatories XMM-Newton launched in December 1999 and Chandra launched in July 1999. MPE was substantially involved in the development, testing and calibration of the X-ray telescopes and the EPIC-pn camera for XMM-Newton and the Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG) for Chandra.
X-ray astronomy deals with phenomena which occur at the end of the stellar lifetimes: supernova explosions, neutron stars, and stellar black holes. Far outside our own Galaxy, the X-ray sky is dominated by active galaxies (radio galaxies, Seyfert galaxies, and quasars) with accreting supermassive black holes in their centers and by clusters of galaxies, the largest physical formations of our universe. Also, normal stars and galaxies can be studied with modern X-ray telescopes. And even comets and planets in the solar system are seen in X-rays. The research activities of the X-ray group cover all these high-energetic phenomena.
For a more comprehensive overview see the development of X-ray astronomy at MPE.

© X-Ray Group at MPE (group)
last update:10-10-2006, editor of this page:Frank Haberl

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