50 years of x-ray astronomy: BBC slideshow

Posted by mjs76 at Aug 24, 2012 10:50 AM |
Professor Ken Pounds sums up half a century of studying x-ray sources.
50 years of x-ray astronomy: BBC slideshow

XMM-Newton under construction

X-ray astronomy as we know it began in 1962 when a NASA rocket spent five minutes above the atmosphere and managed to identify the super-bright x-ray source now known as Scorpius X-1.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this field, which has so vastly expanded our understanding of the universe, the BBC News website invited Emeritus Professor from our Department of Physics and Astronomy to narrate a six-minute slideshow of historical and astronomical images.

Ken started work at Leicester in 1960 so he has seen the field development from that starting point through to the current situation where two x-ray telescopes (ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra) have been in orbit for 12 years, sending back valuable images, and more recently joined by the Japanese Suzuka. Two of the three cameras aboard XMM-Newton were designed and built in our Space Research Centre.

Next months, Ken will be in Greece, along with several of his colleagues, for an international conference commemorating 50 years of x-ray astronomy.

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