The EXOSAT Observatory


artist concept of EXOSAT in space The European Space Agency's X-ray Observatory, EXOSAT, was operational from May 1983 to April 1986. During that time, EXOSAT made 1780 observations of a wide variety of objects, including active galactic nuclei, stellar coronae, cataclysmic variables, white dwarfs, X-ray binaries, clusters of galaxies, and supernova remnants.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime : May 26, 1983 - April 9, 1986
* Energy Range : 0.05-50 keV
* Special Features : 90 Hours highly-eccentric Earth orbit
* Payload :
  • 2 Wolter Type I grazing incidence Low Energy (LE; 0.05-2 keV) Imaging Telescopes, FOV ~ 2°, peak effective area 10 cm2 each with
    • Channel Multiplier Array (CMA; 0.05-2.0keV)
      eff. area 0.4 - 10 cm2, FOV ~2°, ~18 arcsecond spatial resolution
    • Position Sensitive Detector (PSD)
    • Transmission Gratings (TGS)
      500 lines mm-1(LE2), 1000 lines mm-1(LE1). Used in conjunction with the CMA detectors.
  • A Medium Energy (ME) Proportional Counter
    1-50 keV, FOV 45 arcmin, 1600 cm2
  • A Gas Scintillation (GS) Proportional Counter
    2-20 keV, 100 cm2
* Science Highlights:
  • Discovery of the Quasi Period Oscillations in LMXRB and X-ray Pulsars
  • Comprehensive study of AGN variability
  • Observing LMXRB and CV over many orbital periods
  • Measuring iron line in galactic and extra galactic sources
  • Obtaining low-energy high-resolution spectra
* Archive : Catalogs, Spectra, Lightcurves, Images and Raw data

[About EXOSAT] [Archive] [Software] [Gallery] [Publications]


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

Last modified: Thursday, 26-Jun-2003 13:48:33 EDT

The HEASARC welcomes your participation in a brief survey to capture how users access and utilize HEASARC data, software, and services. The outcome(s) of this survey will be used to guide, prioritize, and plan our activities and development in the coming years. It contains 18 questions, generally takes just a few minutes to complete, and your answers will remain totally anonymous. We thank you in advance for your valuable feedback.