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Title: Experiments in X-ray astronomy
Author: Ricketts, Martin J.
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1973
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This thesis describes the design, calibration and analysis of data from two experiments flown on Skylark sounding rockets to observe X-rays from celestial sources. The first experiment, SL 904, was flown in November 1970 from woomera, and carried a large-area X-ray proportional detector, sensitive over 1-14 Kev. The objectives were to observe the X-ray background radiation as well as the source M87 and sources in Centaurus. Measurement of the degree of uniformity of the X-ray background is a valuable clue to its origin since if this is in discrete sources then, on a sufficiently small scale, spatial variations in the flux will be observable. Three scans were made with the instrument over an area lacking known sources, resulting in a lower limit of 7 x 104 for the number of sources which could produce the observed uniformity. The background spectrum over the range 1-10 KeV mas measured with a precision equal to previous results and mas in agreement. The second experiment, SL 1002, was carried out in September 1971, to obtain the position of the X-ray source GX 3+1 accurately, in one dimension, by observing the occultation of the source by the moon. The observation resulted in the source error box being reduced to 1.6 arc sec by 3 arc min (1). However, no optical object was identifiable with the X-ray source, although the error box of a possible radio source overlapped. In conjunction with higher energy measurements, the source is shown to be of thermal origin. No temporal fluctuations mere observed. Work on a focussing X-ray collector to observe low energy (0.1 - 1 KeV) X-radiation from sources is described. The characteristics of the mirror system are investigated and the calibration of the multi-mire detector is also described.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available