High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)



Washington, DC, United States

This x-ray photograph of the Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, taken with the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO) 2/Einstein Observatory, shows that the regions with fast moving knots of material in the expanding shell are bright and clear. A faint x-ray halo, just outside the bright shell, is interpreted as a shock wave moving ahead of the expanding debris. 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, designed and developed by TRW, Inc. under the project management of the Marshall Space Flight Center, was launched aboard an Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle on November 13, 1978.


  • Title: High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)
  • Date Created: 1980-01-01
  • Rights: MSFC
  • Album: rlobrie1

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