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Solar X-ray Bursts

NSSDCA ID: 1965-007A-02

Mission Name: OSO 2
Principal Investigator:Dr. Talbot A. Chubb


This experiment was designed (1) to measure solar X-ray bursts in three wavelength bands (2 to 8 A, 8 to 20 A, and 44 to 60 A), the 2- to 8-A background radiation, and X-ray emissions from solar prominences high above the solar limb, and (2) to map X-ray sources on the sun in two wavelength intervals (2 to 8 A and 44 to 60 A). The experiment, located in the sail section of the satellite, had two operational modes--pointed and raster. The pointed mode used five GM tube counters (three were used as burst detectors, one as a background detector, and one as a prominence detector) and was designated the solar X-ray telescope. The raster mode, called the X-ray spectroheliograph, used two of the burst detectors. This, however, failed to function. In the pointed mode, the burst detectors were pointed directly at the sun to within plus or minus 1 arc-min of the center of the apparent solar disk and continuously monitored the solar X-ray flux except during telemetry readout of the satellite tape recorder and spacecraft night. The background detector was pointed away from the sun and provided a basis for correcting the data for counts caused by particle radiation. The prominence detector looked at the region around the sun by means of an X-ray detector equipped with an occulting disk that artificially eclipsed the sun. The intensity measurements for the burst portion of the experiment were accurate to 7% for short time intervals (8 s) and had better than 7% accuracy for long time intervals (8 min). The experiment produced about 1 month of X-ray data.

Alternate Names

  • OSO2/SolarX-rayBursts

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Solar Physics: X-Ray

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Talbot A. ChubbPrincipal InvestigatorUS Naval Research Laboratory
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