HEAPOW: A Higher Altitude Observatory (2010 Mar 29)

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18434
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

HEAPOW: A Higher Altitude Observatory (2010 Mar 29)

Post by bystander » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:35 pm

Image HEAPOW: A Higher Altitude Observatory (2010 Mar 29)
The highest observatory on earth is the Indian Astronomical Observatory, which is perched at 14,800 feet (4,517 meters) above sea level atop Mt. Saraswati in the sparsely-populated desert of the Hanle Valley of Changthang, Ladakh, very close to India's border with China. Just above earth, at a mean altitude of 913,440 feet and in an even more sparsely populated region, the International Space Station provides astronomers with a higher altitude observing facility. And astronomers are making good use of this opportunity. Shown above is an all-sky X-ray image obtained by Japan's MAXI X-ray telescope. MAXI is a highly sensitive X-ray camera designed to monitor more than 1000 X-ray sources in space over an energy band range of 0.5 to 30 keV, and it is mounted on the Space Station's exposed Kibo observing platform, which was also built by Japan. Like any ground-based observatory, MAXI (and other telescopes mounted on the Space Station) can be serviced by on-site personnel in case problems arise or to increase observing power. Unlike ground-based observatories, telescopes mounted on the space station can observe the entire sky over the entire electromagnetic spectrum, even those regions (like the ultraviolet, X-ray or gamma-ray) which do not penetrate the earth's atmosphere.
<< Previous HEAPOW High Energy Astrophysics
Picture of the Week
Next HEAPOW >>

User avatar
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16011
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: HEAPOW: A Higher Altitude Observatory (2010 Mar 29)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:34 pm

Well...the young but distant Crab Pulsar shows up real well on the far right...
but why doesn't the nearby Vela Pulsar show up any better?
  • Stanley Kowalski: Hey, Vela! Hey, Velaaa!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_Nebula wrote:
<<The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. The nebula was observed by John Bevis in 1731; it corresponds to a bright supernova recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers in 1054. At X-ray and gamma-ray energies above 30 KeV, the Crab is generally the strongest persistent source in the sky, with measured flux extending to above 1012 eV. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-years (2 kpc) from Earth.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Supernova_Remnant wrote:
<<The Vela supernova remnant is a supernova remnant in the southern constellation Vela. Its source supernova exploded approximately 11,000-12,300 years ago (and was about 800 light years away). The Vela Pulsar (PSR B0833-45 or PSR J0835-4510, sometimes referred to as the Vega Pulsar) is a radio, optical, X-ray and gamma-emitting pulsar associated with Vela Supernova Remnant, in the constellation of Vela.>>
Art Neuendorffer