Tag Archives: Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer

Arrivederci Rossi

On 3 January 2012, one of the most productive X-ray observatories of all time ceased its science operations. The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) observed the high-energy cosmos for 16 years. During that time RXTE made a host of discoveries, and its results were used in about 2000 refereed publications. My favourite Rossi finding? The discovery of a black hole with a mass just 3.8 times that of the Sun!

Rossi, fully assembled, waiting for launch at the Kennedy Space Center

Rossi, fully assembled, waiting for launch at the Kennedy Space Center
Credit: NASA

Artist's impression of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer

Artist's impression of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer
Credit: NASA