Burrows, Feigelson, Garmire, Guo, Nousek

ASCA is the most capable X-ray astronomy spectroscopic mission between the Einstein Observatory in 1978 and the launch of AXAF and XMM near the year 2000. Carrying four X-ray telescope assemblies, two gas scintillation detectors and two CCD cameras, ASCA is carrying out moderate resolution spectroscopy on sources at or below the Einstein limit of detection.

Penn State scientists, Dr. Robin Corbet, Dr. Gordon Garmire and Dr. John Nousek, have played crucial roles in the the ground data processing and the science working group. (Other U.S. institutions participating include MIT for the CCD camera and Goddard Space Flight Center for the X-ray telescopes and U.S. Guest Observer Facility.) Penn State's contributions to the mission development gave us access to the first data returned from the satellite in its PV (Performance Verification) phase. Dr. John Nousek and Chris Baluta are studying X-ray spectra from the dwarf nova SS Cyg. Dr. Nousek and Kaori Nishikida are comparing spectral changes correlated with intensity changes in the flare star system AD Leo. Dr. Robin Corbet (now at Goddard Space Flight Center) and Brian Thomas are studying X-ray binary systems, especially X0748-676. Prof. Gordon Garmire is studying bright diffuse emission regions in the galactic center direction.

After the initial six month performance verification phase 40% of the ASCA observing time is currently available to U.S. scientists through a competitive proposal process to recognize the important contributions made by U.S. members of the ASCA team and NASA's financial support for the instruments. We continue to acquire and analyze ASCA data through proposals accepted under this program. For example, Dr. David Burrows and Dr. Zhiyu Guo are studying ASCA data of two supernova remnants: VRO 42.05.01 and 3C400.2. Prof. Eric Feigelson is studying pre-main sequence stars using ASCA. 

Faculty Publications

1996 Annual Report

Department Directory

X-ray Group Home Page

Web page by John A. Nousek & David N. Burrows (

Last update: 1996 March 28