DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Einstein Observatory. Artist's impression of the Einstein X-ray observatory in orbit. The spacecraft is at upper right, with a cut-away view showing the position of its lens (blue barrel) and its instruments (orange and green boxes). Below is a diagram of the grazing incidence lens used by the Einstein Observatory. The X-rays strike the inner surface of nested tapering metal rings at a very shallow angle, and so are gently reflected toward the focus. This design was the basis for the lenses used on subsequent orbiting X-ray telescopes. Einstein was launched on 13 November 1978, and was operational until April 1981.
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