Credit: Andy Read (University of Leicester), Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik and the ROSAT Mission and ESA
Sometimes getting there is half the fun, or half the science. Space observatories spend a significant amount of time moving from one target to the next. Since observing time is precious, observatories like XMM-Newton keep their detectors active and their eyes open - as long as the pathway's safe. The image above shows how such slew observations can provide important new data on astronomical objects of interest. On the left you see an X-ray observation of the Vela supernova remanant taken with a deep observation by the ROSAT satellite. On the right, strips of X-ray images obtained as XMM-Newton was moving from one target to the next. Even though the total time in the slew observation is only about 30 minutes, a large number of sources (about 2700 bright sources and about 2000 fainter sources) can be seen. A veritable treasure trove, and a freebee.
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:24:07 EDT