History of X-ray astronomy
The history of X-ray astronomy begins in the 1920s, with interest in short wave communications for the U.S. Navy. This was soon followed by extensive study of the earth's ionosphere. By 1927, interest in the detection of X-ray and ultraviolet (UV) radiation at high altitudes inspired researchers to launch Goddard's rockets into the upper atmosphere to support theoretical studies and data gathering. The first successful rocket flight equipped with instrumentation able to detect solar ultraviolet radiation occurred in 1946. X-ray solar studies began in 1949. By 1973 a solar instrument package orbited on Skylab providing significant solar data.In 1965 the Goddard Space Flight Center program in X-ray astronomy was initiated with a series of balloon-borne experiments. In the 1970s this was followed by high altitude sounding rocket experiments, and that was followed by orbiting (satellite) observatories.The first rocket flight to successfully detect a cosmic source of X-ray emission was launched in 1962 by a group at American Science and Engineering (AS&E).X-ray wavelengths reveal information about the bodies (sources) that emit them.