ROSAT Ecliptic Pole
Credit: Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

Encircling the Pole

An image of the entire sky was made by the ROSAT X-ray telescope in the early 1990's during its "all sky survey" phase. The exposure of the image varied from place to place, but because ROSAT's orbit was perpendicular to the ecliptic plane (the plane of earth's orbit around the sun), the sky above the north and south ecliptic poles was observed every orbit. This produced an extraordinarily deep image of these regions of the sky. The image above shows the ROSAT all-sky survey image of the sky above the south pole. Various observing strips, representing individual orbits of ROSAT, all intersect above the south ecliptic pole.

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified April 2, 2001