The Copernicus Satellite (OAO-3)

photo of Copernicus satellite in the clean room Copernicus, or Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 3 (OAO-3) was a collaborative effort between the USA (NASA) and the UK (SERC). The main experiment on board was the Princeton University UV telescope, but it also carried an X-ray astronomy experiment developed by the University College London/Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime : 21 August 1972 - February 1981
* Energy Range : 0.5 - 10 keV (X-ray experiment only)
* Payload :
The University College London X-ray Experiment (UCLXE) consisted of 4 co-aligned X-ray detectors
  • 3 Wolter type 0 grazing incidence telescopes with 2 proportional counters (3-9 Å and 6-18 Å) and a channel photomultiplier at the foci. (variable FOV from 1 to 12 arcmin)
  • 1 proportional counter (1-3 Å) with a simple collimation tube. (2.5° X 3.5° FOV)
* Science Highlights:
  • Discovery of several long period pulsars (e.g. X Per).
  • Discovery of absorpton dips in Cyg X-1.
  • Long-term monitoring of pulsars and other bright X-ray binaries.
  • Observed rapid intensity variability from Cen A.
* Archive : HEASARC hosts the Raw data in FITS format from the UCLXE.
[Copernicus Home] [About Copernicus] [Archive] [Software] [Gallery] [Publications]

[All Missions] [by Time] [by Energy]

HEASARC Home | Observatories | Archive | Calibration | Software | Tools | Students/Teachers/Public

Last modified: Thursday, 24-Sep-2020 18:26:26 EDT

The HEASARC is hiring! - Applications are now being accepted for a scientist with significant experience and interest in the technical aspects of astrophysics research, to work in the HEASARC at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. Refer to the AAS Job register for full details.