Einstein Observatory

Einstein Observatory (HEAO-2) was the first fully imaging X-ray telescope put into space and the second of NASA's three High Energy Astrophysical Observatories. Named HEAO B before launch, the observatory's name was changed to honor Albert Einstein upon its successfully attaining orbit.[1]

Einstein Observatory
Heao b
Einstein Observatory
Mission typeAstronomy
COSPAR ID1978-103A
SATCAT no.11101
WebsiteEinstein Observatory at NASA.gov
Mission duration4 years
Spacecraft properties
Dry mass3,130 kilograms (6,900 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date13 November 1978, 05:24 UTC
RocketAtlas SLV-3D Centaur-D1AR
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-36B
End of mission
Last contact17 April 1981
Decay date26 May 1982
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee465 kilometres (289 mi)
Apogee476 kilometres (296 mi)
Period94.0 minutes
Epoch13 November, 1978 05:24:00 UTC


The Einstein Observatory, HEAO-2, was launched on November 13, 1978, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on an Atlas-Centaur SLV-3D booster rocket into a near-circular orbit with an initial altitude slightly above 500 km. Its orbital inclination orbit was 23.5 degrees. The Einstein Observatory satellite re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up on March 25, 1982.[2]


The Einstein Observatory carried a single large grazing-incidence focusing X-ray telescope that provided unprecedented levels of sensitivity (hundreds of times better than previously achieved) and arc-second angular resolution of point sources and extended objects. It had instruments sensitive in the 0.2 to 3.5 keV energy range. A collection of four focal-plane instruments was installed in the satellite: [3]

  • HRI, or High Resolution Imaging camera, 0.15-3 keV
  • IPC, or Imaging Proportional Counter, 0.4 to 4 keV
  • SSS, or Solid State Spectrometer, 0.5 to 4.5 keV
  • FPCS, or Bragg Focal Plane Crystal Spectrometer

There was also a coaxial instrument 'MPC', the Monitor Proportional Counter, working in the 1-20 keV range, and two filters that could be used with the imaging detectors:

  • BBFS, Broad Band Filter Spectrometer (aluminium and beryllium filters than can be placed into the X-ray beam, to change the spectral sensitivity)
  • OGS, Objective grating spectrometer (transmission gratings with a spectral resolution of about 50)


  1. ^ "HEA Heritage Missions: Einstein Observatory". cfa.harvard.edu. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Einstein Observatory (HEAO-2)". ecuip.lib.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  3. ^ "The Einstein /HEAO 2/ X-ray Observatory". adsabs.harvard.edu. Retrieved 27 March 2014.

See also

External links

12 Camelopardalis

12 Camelopardalis is a spectroscopic binary in the constellation Camelopardalis. It also forms a double star with 11 Camelopardalis, which is only 3 arcminutes away.

12 Camelopardalis is classified as an orange K-type giant with a mean apparent magnitude of +6.08. The binary is an RS Canum Venaticorum type variable star and its brightness varies by 0.14 magnitudes with a period of 82.8 days. The orbital period of the binary is 80.174 days. 12 Camelopardalis is approximately 625 light years from Earth.

1E (disambiguation)

1E is a UK software company.

1E or 1-E may also refer to:

1st meridian east, a longitude coordinate


Astra 1E, a communications satellite owned and operated by SES, and launched in 1995

California Proposition 1E (2009), a defeated California ballot proposition

1E, UIC classification of the 2-10-0 train arrangement*1E, a designator of celestial objects discovered via Einstein Observatory

1E 161348-5055

1E 161348-5055.1, commonly shortened to 1E 161348-5055, is a neutron star found in the centre of RCW103 supernova remnant. It is a periodic X-ray source with a period of 6.67 hours. It is approximately 2000 years old. It is 10,000 light years away in the constellation Norma.

The star was discovered by the Einstein Observatory.

This star is unusual because of its rotation period of 6.7 hours. Its period is too long for a star of 2000 years, which should be rotating thousands of times faster. Instead, it is behaving more like a multi-million-year-old star. Another oddity occurred between October 1999 and January 2000. The star became 50 times brighter. The flare has faded since its peak but has not returned to its pre-1999 level. Two theories have been put forward to explain these phenomena.

The first is that the star possesses a massive magnetic field. This strong field would brake against the debris disk left behind by the supernova, which has thus far been unknown to science. This theory would account for the slower than expected rotation but not for the increase in brightness.

An alternate explanation is that the star has a low-mass X-ray binary. The companion star would orbit in an elongated orbit. When the companion is close to the neutron star, it would feed mass into it, creating the increased brightness. The drag created by the companion on the neutron star's magnetic field would also slow the rotation of the neutron star. If this scenario is the case, it is the youngest such system yet observed.


2E or II-E may refer to:

2nd meridian east, a longitude coordinate

Apple IIe, a 1983 model in the Apple II series of personal computers

Aptera 2e, the 2009 and first model in the Aptera 2 Series by Aptera Motors

Oflag II-E, a prisoner of war camp in Germany

2nd arrondissement of Paris

Transcription Factor II E

Twice exceptional, an individual with special needs who is also gifted.

A reference to data collected by the Einstein Observatory (version 2)

American Science and Engineering

American Science and Engineering Inc, (AS&E) is an American manufacturer of advanced X-ray equipment and related technologies, originating in 1958 as a developer for NASA, with an early focus on X-ray astronomy led by Riccardo Giacconi. Among other developments Giacconi's team made possible the Einstein Observatory (the first full imaging X-ray telescope, launched 1978), and Giacconi's work at AS&E saw him win the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics.Among other things, AS&E provides both transmission X-ray and backscatter X-ray equipment for airports, seaports, critical infrastructures, border crossings and other locations where security scanning is required. AS&E has also developed a mobile backscatter X-ray van (ZBV).In June 2016, OSI Systems offered to purchase the company for $269 million, After approval by regulators and shareholders, the deal competed before the end of 2016.In the 12 months ending March 31, AS&E made $64 million profit on $278 million revenue.[1]

Chamaeleon complex

The Chamaeleon complex is a large star forming region (SFR) that includes the Chamaeleon I, Chamaeleon II, and Chamaeleon III dark clouds. It occupies nearly all of the constellation Chamaeleon and overlaps into Apus, Musca, Carina and Octans. The mean density of X-ray sources is about one source per square degree.

Einstein (disambiguation)

Albert Einstein (1879–1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist.

Einstein may also refer to:

Einstein (surname), a surname (including a list of people with the name)

Einstein Telescope

Einstein Telescope (ET) or Einstein Observatory, is a proposed third-generation ground-based gravitational wave detector, currently under study by some institutions in the European Union. It will be able to test Einstein's general theory of relativity in strong field conditions and realize precision gravitational wave astronomy.

The ET is a design study project supported by the European Commission under the Framework Programme 7 (FP7). It concerns the study and the conceptual design for a new research infrastructure in the emergent field of gravitational-wave astronomy.

GRB 790305b

GRB 790305b is an event that took place on 5 March 1979. It was an extremely bright burst that was successfully localized to supernova remnant N49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This event is now interpreted as a magnetar giant flare, more related to SGR flares than "true" gamma-ray bursts. It is the first observed SGR megaflare, a specific type of short GRB. It has been associated with the pulsar PSR B0525-66.

HEAO Program

The High Energy Astronomy Observatory Program was a NASA program of the late 1970s and early 1980s that included a series of three large low-Earth-orbiting spacecraft for X-ray and Gamma-Ray astronomy and Cosmic-Ray investigations. After launch, they were denoted HEAO 1, HEAO 2 (also known as The Einstein Observatory), and HEAO 3, respectively. The large (~3000 kg) satellites were 3-axis stabilized to arc-minute accuracy, with fixed solar panels. All three observatories were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Atlas-Centaur SLV-3D launch vehicles into near-circular orbits with initial altitudes slightly above 500 km.

High Energy Astronomy Observatory

High Energy Astrophysics Observatory can refer to:

1st High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO 1)

Einstein Observatory (HEAO 2)

3rd High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO 3)

HEAO ProgramNote that the correct (original) names for these three satellites are "High Energy Astronomy Observatories", not "Astrophysics".

List of X-ray space telescopes

List of X-ray space telescopes is a listing of "telescopes" in outer space that can observe X-ray wavelengths.

X-rays mirrors can be built, but only if the angle from the plane of reflection is very low (typically 10 arc-minutes to 2 degrees). These are called glancing (or grazing) incidence mirrors. In 1952, Hans Wolter outlined three ways a telescope could be built using only this kind of mirror.

List of space telescopes

This list of space telescopes (astronomical space observatories) is grouped by major frequency ranges: gamma ray, x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwave and radio. Telescopes that work in multiple frequency bands are included in all of the appropriate sections. Space telescopes that collect particles, such as cosmic ray nuclei and/or electrons, as well as instruments that aim to detect gravitational waves, are also listed. Missions with specific targets within the Solar System (e.g. our Sun and its planets), are excluded; see List of Solar System probes for these, and List of Earth observation satellites for missions targeting our planet.

Two values are provided for the dimensions of the initial orbit. For telescopes in Earth orbit, the min and max altitude are given in kilometers. For telescopes in solar orbit, the minimum distance (periapsis) and the maximum distance (apoapsis) between the telescope and the center of mass of the sun are given in astronomical units (AU).

List of things named after Albert Einstein

This is a list of things named after Albert Einstein.

NGC 5585

NGC 5585 is a spiral galaxy located about 28 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major; it is a member of the M101 Group of galaxies. The galaxy has a diameter of about 35,000 light-years and has a very diffuse disc with almost no central bulge. Although its overall structure is quite complex, the galaxy does have a very faint spiral arm structure which has resulted in it receiving a galaxy morphological classification of SAB(s)d.Like other galaxies with a similar type, NGC 5585 exhibits a moderate level of star formation that is mostly concentrated in the central region. To date, 47 distinct regions of star formation have been identified. Despite this, the galaxy's visible components appear to form only a tiny fraction of the total mass present as the gravity of the visible portion of the disc does not explain the observed rotation curve even extremely close to the center. This suggests that NGC 5585 has a very large dark matter component that is more reflective of what is normally seen in dwarf galaxies than a galaxy of this size. Even the gravity of the galaxy's H I regions appears to have more impact than the visible components of the galaxy.A total of five supernova remnants (SNRs) have been observed in NGC 5585. One of the SNRs is extremely large with dimensions of about 200 x 90 parsecs (650 x 300 ly) and its x-ray emissions are so powerful that it actually distorted the initial x-ray emission contour map for the entire galaxy that was obtained by the Einstein Observatory in the early 1980s. The SNR's large size and the fact that it is still expanding at an abnormally high rate of more than 85 km/s (53 mi/s) suggest that it is probably located in a low-density area of NGC 5585's interstellar medium.A 1997 paper estimated that the galaxy probably has about one supernova every 1,000 years.

Riccardo Giacconi

Riccardo Giacconi (October 6, 1931 – December 9, 2018) was an Italian-American Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who laid down the foundations of X-ray astronomy. He was a professor at the Johns Hopkins University.

Super soft X-ray source

A luminous supersoft X-ray source (SSXS, or SSS) is an astronomical source that emits only low energy (i.e., soft) X-rays. Soft X-rays have energies in the 0.09 to 2.5 keV range, whereas hard X-rays are in the 1–20 keV range. SSSs emit few or no photons with energies above 1 keV, and most have effective temperatures below 100 eV. This means that the radiation they emit is highly ionizing and is readily absorbed by the interstellar medium. Most SSSs within our own galaxy are hidden by interstellar absorption in the galactic disk. They are readily evident in external galaxies, with ~10 found in the Magellanic Clouds and at least 15 seen in M31.As of early 2005, more than 100 SSSs have been reported in ~20 external galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), and the Milky Way (MW). Those with luminosities below ~3 x 1038 erg/s are consistent with steady nuclear burning in accreting white dwarfs (WD)s or post-novae. There are a few SSS with luminosities ≥1039 erg/s.Super soft X-rays are believed to be produced by steady nuclear fusion on a white dwarf's surface of material pulled from a binary companion, the so-called close-binary supersoft source (CBSS). This requires a flow of material sufficiently high to sustain the fusion. Contrast this with the nova, where less flow causes the material to only fuse sporadically. Super soft X-ray sources can evolve into type Ia supernova, where a sudden fusion of material destroys the white dwarf, and neutron stars, through collapse.Super soft X-ray sources were first discovered by the Einstein Observatory. Further discoveries were made by ROSAT. Many different classes of objects emit supersoft X-radiation (emission dominantly below 0.5 keV).


Telescopes are optical instruments that make distant objects appear magnified by using an arrangement of lenses or curved mirrors and lenses, or various devices used to observe distant objects by their emission, absorption, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation. The first known practical telescopes were refracting telescopes invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century, by using glass lenses. They found use in both terrestrial applications and astronomy.

The reflecting telescope, which uses mirrors to collect and focus light, was invented within a few decades of the first refracting telescope. In the 20th century, many new types of telescopes were invented, including radio telescopes in the 1930s and infrared telescopes in the 1960s. The word telescope now refers to a wide range of instruments capable of detecting different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, and in some cases other types of detectors.

Waves (Juno)

Waves is an experiment on the Juno spacecraft to study radio and plasma waves. It is part of collection of various types of instruments and experiments on the spacecraft; Waves is oriented towards understanding fields and particles in Jupiter's magnetosphere. Waves is on board the unmanned Juno spacecraft, which was launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in the summer of 2016. The major focus of study for Waves is Jupiter's magnetosphere, which if could be seen from Earth would be about twice the size of a full moon. It has a tear drop shape, and that tail extends away from the Sun by at least 5 AU (Earth-Sun distances). The Waves instrument is designed to help understand the interaction between Jupiter's atmosphere, its magnetic field, its magnetosphere, and to understand Jupiter's auroras. It is designed to detect radio frequencies from 50 Hz up to 40,000,000 Hz (40 MHz), and magnetic fields from 50 Hz to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). It has two main sensors a dipole antenna and a magnetic search coil. The dipole antenna has two whip antenna's that extend 2.8 meters (110 inches/ 9.1 feet) and they are attached to the main body of the spacecraft. This sensor has been compared to a rabbit ears set-top TV antenna. The search coil is overall a mu metal rod 15 cm (6 in) length with a fine copper wire wound 10,000 times around it. There are also two frequency receivers that each cover certain bands. Data handling is done by two radiation hardened systems on a chip. The data handling units are located inside the Juno Radiation Vault. Waves was allocated 410 Mbits of data per science orbit.On June 24, 2016 the Waves instrument recorded Juno passing across Jupiter's magnetic field's bow shock. It took about two hours for the unmanned spacecraft to cross this region of space. On June 25, 2016 it encountered the magnetopause. Juno would go on to enter Jupiter's orbit in July 2016. The magnetosphere blocks the charged particles of the solar wind, with the number of solar wind particles Juno encountered dropping 100-fold when it entered the Jovian magnetosphere. Before Juno entered it, it was encountering about 16 solar wind particles per cubic inch of space.There is various other antenna on Juno including the communication antennas and the antenna for the Microwave Radiometer.Two other instruments help understand the magnetosphere of Jupiter, Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JIRAM) and Magnetometer (MAG) instrument. The JEDI instrument measures higher energy ions and electrons and JADE lower energy ones, they are complimentary. Another object of study is plasma generated by volcanism on Io (moon) and Waves should help understand that phenomenon also.

A primary objective of the Juno mission is to explore the polar magnetosphere of Jupiter. While Ulysses briefly attained latitudes of ~48 degrees, this was at relatively large distances from Jupiter (~8.6 RJ). Hence, the polar magnetosphere of Jupiter is largely uncharted territory and, in particular, the auroral acceleration region has never been visited. ...

Another issue that came up in 2002, was when Chandra determined with its high angular resolution that X-rays were coming from Jupiter's poles. Einstein Observatory and Germany's ROSAT previously observed X-rays from Jupiter. The new results by Chandra, which took the observations during December 2000, showed X-rays coming from the magnetic north pole not the aurora. Roughly every 45 minutes Jupiter sends out a multi-gigawatt X-ray pulse, and this is synchronized with an emission in radio at 1 to 200 kHz. Galileo orbiter and Ulysses solar orbiter picked up the radio emissions every 45 minutes. The radio emissions were discovered before the X-rays, they have been detected since the 1950s, and there is even Citizen astronomer project orchestrated by NASA called Radio Jove for anyone to listen to Jupiter's radio signals. Kilometric radio radiation was not detected until the Voyager flybys of Jupiter in the late 1970s. Two candidates for the source of the X-rays are particles of Solar wind or from Io.Waves was developed at the University of Iowa, and the experiment is led by a research scientist there.

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