skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Floating into Thin Air

Abstract

On May 18, 2005, a giant helium balloon carrying the High Energy Focusing Telescope (HEFT) sailed into the spring sky over the deserts of New Mexico. The spindly steel and aluminum gondola that houses the optics, detectors, and other components of the telescope floated for 25 hours after its launch from Fort Sumner, New Mexico. For 21 of those hours, the balloon was nearly 40 kilometers above Earth's surface--almost four times higher than the altitude routinely flown by commercial jet aircraft. In the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere, HEFT searched the universe for x-ray sources from highly energetic objects such as binary stars, galaxy clusters, and supermassive black holes. Before landing in Arizona, the telescope observed and imaged a dozen scientific targets by capturing photons emitted from these objects in the high-energy (hard) x-ray range (above 10 kiloelectronvolts). Among these targets were the Crab synchrotron nebula, the black hole Cygnus X-1 (one of the brightest x-ray sources in the sky), and the blazar 3C454.3. The scientific data gathered from these targets are among the first focused hard x-ray images returned from high altitudes.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
902619
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-227893
TRN: US0702982
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; AIRCRAFT; ALTITUDE; ALUMINIUM; BINARY STARS; BLACK HOLES; FOCUSING; GALAXY CLUSTERS; HELIUM; OPTICS; PHOTONS; STEELS; SYNCHROTRONS; TARGETS; TELESCOPES; UNIVERSE; X-RAY SOURCES

Citation Formats

Hazi, A U. Floating into Thin Air. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/902619.
Hazi, A U. Floating into Thin Air. United States. doi:10.2172/902619.
Hazi, A U. Tue . "Floating into Thin Air". United States. doi:10.2172/902619. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/902619.
@article{osti_902619,
title = {Floating into Thin Air},
author = {Hazi, A U},
abstractNote = {On May 18, 2005, a giant helium balloon carrying the High Energy Focusing Telescope (HEFT) sailed into the spring sky over the deserts of New Mexico. The spindly steel and aluminum gondola that houses the optics, detectors, and other components of the telescope floated for 25 hours after its launch from Fort Sumner, New Mexico. For 21 of those hours, the balloon was nearly 40 kilometers above Earth's surface--almost four times higher than the altitude routinely flown by commercial jet aircraft. In the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere, HEFT searched the universe for x-ray sources from highly energetic objects such as binary stars, galaxy clusters, and supermassive black holes. Before landing in Arizona, the telescope observed and imaged a dozen scientific targets by capturing photons emitted from these objects in the high-energy (hard) x-ray range (above 10 kiloelectronvolts). Among these targets were the Crab synchrotron nebula, the black hole Cygnus X-1 (one of the brightest x-ray sources in the sky), and the blazar 3C454.3. The scientific data gathered from these targets are among the first focused hard x-ray images returned from high altitudes.},
doi = {10.2172/902619},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Feb 06 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Tue Feb 06 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share: