High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)




This image is an observation of Quasar 3C 273 by the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2/Einstein Observatory. It reveals the presence of a new source (upper left) with a red shift that indicates that it is about 10 billion light years away. Quasars are mysterious, bright, star-like objects apparently located at the very edge of the visible universe. Although no bigger than our solar system, they radiate as much visible light as a thousand galaxies. Quasars also emit radio signals and were previously recognized as x-ray sources. The HEAO-2, the first imaging and largest x-ray telescope built to date, was capable of producing actual photographs of x-ray objects. Shortly after launch, the HEAO-2 was nicknamed the Einstein Observatory by its scientific experimenters in honor of the centernial of the birth of Albert Einstein, whose concepts of relativity and gravitation have influenced much of modern astrophysics, particularly x-ray astronomy. The HEAO-2 was designed and developed by TRW, Inc. under the project management of the Marshall Space Flight Center.

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  • Title: High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)
  • Date Created: 1979-01-01
  • Rights: MSFC
  • Album: rlobrie1