The discovery of the first known X-ray source outside the solar system, Scorpius X-1. This observation was made in 1962, with an Aerobee rocket. X-ray background radiation was also detected.
Scorpius X-1 (artist’s impression) is a binary system consisting of a neutron star which pulls gas from its companion star. The gas accelerates in the powerful gravitational field and emits intense X-rays. Illustration by Z Chamaeleontis by Dale Bryner, Dept. of Visual Arts, Weber State University
HOW DOES AN X-RAY TELESCOPE WORK? In an ordinary optical telescope, lenses or mirrors are used to focus the light and form an image. However, a normal mirror will not reflect X-ray radiation, since it would pass straight through the mirror! Reflection will occur only if the X-rays graze the surface of a finely polished metal surface. This principle is used in an X-ray telescope, which is built from several nested cylinders with a parabolic or hyperbolic profile.
Watch the 2019 Nobel Lectures, Nobel Week Dialogue and the prize award ceremonies in Oslo and Stockholm live here at nobelprize.org, starting with the Nobel Lectures in Physiology or Medicine on Saturday 7 December at 13.00 CET.
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