Wolk, Scott J. High Energy Astrophysics Division, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:October 2021
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- Image formation
- Grazing-incidence telescope
- Multilayer telescope
- Image detection
- Microchannel plates
- Charge-coupled devices
- X-ray microcalorimeter
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An instrument designed to collect and detect x-rays emitted from a source outside the Earth's atmosphere and to resolve the x-rays into an image. X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, between ultraviolet light and gamma rays. This x-ray band ranges from 0.01 to 10 nanometers, or about 60 electronvolts (eV) to 125 keV, with low energy considered "soft" and high energy considered “hard.” Absorption by Earth's atmosphere of x-rays requires that x-ray telescopes (Fig. 1) be carried to high altitudes. Balloons are generally used for detection systems designed for higher-energy (hard) x-ray observations, whereas rockets and satellites are used for softer x-ray detectors. Observations in x-rays are a mainstay of high-energy astrophysical investigations. See also: Astrophysics; Atmosphere; Balloon; Electromagnetic radiation; Electronvolt; High-energy astrophysics; Satellite (spacecraft); Telescope; X-ray astronomy; X-ray
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