Credit: Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) and the BeppoSAX Science Data Center (SDC)
BeppoSAX was an X-ray astronomy mission
launched in 1996 by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) with participation of
the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace programs (NIVR). The acronym SAX
stands for "Satellite per Astronomia X", italian for "X-Ray Astronomy
Satellite", and the satellite was christened in honor of Giuseppe
(Beppo) Occhialini, one of the fathers of X-ray astronomy. Although
BeppoSAX made many contributions to the study of X-ray emission from stars,
black holes, neutron stars and galaxies, its breakthrough discovery was the
of X-ray afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. This discovery allowed
astronomers for the first time to get accurate positions for some bursts
which showed that these events occur in distant galaxies. The end of the
BeppoSAX mission occurred on April 30, 2002, the sixth anniversary of the
launch of the satellite.
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F.
Last modified May 20, 2002