X-ray Astronomy - Sounding Rocket Flights

Sounding Rocket Flights

The first sounding rocket flights for X-ray research were accomplished at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with a V-2 rocket on January 28, 1949. A detector was placed in the nose cone section and the rocket was launched in a suborbital flight to an altitude just above the atmosphere.

X-rays from the Sun were detected by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Blossom experiment on board. An Aerobee 150 rocket was launched on June 12, 1962 and it detected the first X-rays from other celestial sources (Scorpius X-1).

The largest drawback to rocket flights is their very short duration (just a few minutes above the atmosphere before the rocket falls back to Earth) and their limited field of view. A rocket launched from the United States will not be able to see sources in the southern sky; a rocket launched from Australia will not be able to see sources in the northern sky.

Read more about this topic:  X-ray Astronomy

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Famous quotes containing the words flights, sounding and/or rocket:

    A noble soul is not the one that can manage the highest flights but the one that rises very little and falls very little but always dwells in a free, resplendent atmosphere and altitude.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    The sounding cataract
    Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
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    That had no need of a remoter charm,
    By thought supplied, or any interest
    Unborrowed from the eye.—
    William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

    Along a parabola life like a rocket flies,
    Mainly in darkness, now and then on a rainbow.
    Andrei Voznesensky (b. 1933)