Riccardo Giacconi Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics The meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society, held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 28- 30, 1980, marks the coming of age of X-ray astronomy. In the 18 years since the discovery of the first extrasolar X-ray source, Sco X-l, the field has experienced an extremely rapid instrumentation development culminating with the launch on November 13, 1978 of the Einstein Ob servatory (HEAO-2) which first introduced the use of high resolution imaging telescopes to the study of galactic and extragalactic X-ray sources. The Einstein Observatory instruments can detect sources as faint as 10-7 Sco X-lor about 17 magnitudes fainter. The technological developments in the field have been paralleled by a host of new discoveries: in the early 1960's the detection of 9 "X-ray stars", objects 10 times more luminous in X-rays than the Sun and among the brightest stellar objects at all wavelengths; in the late 1960's and early 1970's the discovery of the nature of such systems which were identified as collapsed stars (neutron stars and black holes) in mass exchange binary systems, and the detection of the first few extragalactic sources.
The millimetre and submillimetre spectral region (300 to 3000 Ilm or 1000 to 100 GHz) was until recently one of the few spectral regimes not fully opened up for astronomical studies. Thanks both to improvements in detectors and receivers and to the construction of large telescopes at high altitude sites this situation is improving very rapidly. Three major telescopes have been built recently and are coming into operation during 1987 and 1988, namely the 15m James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) and the lOAm Caltech Submillimetre Observatory (CSO) telescope, both located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and the 15 m Swedish -ESO telescope (SEST) in Chile. Because a very wide range of astronomical problems can be tackled with these major new facilities there is a great deal of interest from the many potential new users anxious to become familiar with this rapidly developing field. During 1986 it became clear to British and Dutch astronomers involved in planning the commissioning and operation of the JCMT, that a summer school in this field would greatly benefit the potential and actual JCMT user community. With financial support from the SERC and supplemented by a grant from the ZWO, the Summer School on 'Millimetre and Submillimetre Astronomy' was held at Stirling University from June 21 to 27, 1987.
Encyclopedia of Space and Astronomy covers this timely and popular topic in a clear, comprehensive manner. Offering a complete presentation of the main concepts, terms, facilities, and people in astronomy, the encyclopedia pays special attention to space-based astronomy and space exploration. Broad coverage includes terms such as astrophysics, planetary science, and cosmology, as well as both American and international astronomy and space technology. Containing more than 3,000 cross-referenced entries and 15 essays, as well as approximately 250 black-and-white photographs and line illustrations, this authoritative reference provides students and teachers with a visually stimulating learning experience.
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