Q&A: X-ray Astronomy
How does Chandra and Rossi compare or differ from one
The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), as the name suggests,
is designed to study the time variations of cosmic X-ray
sources on time scales ranging from microseconds to months.
Its instruments cover an energy range from 2 to 250
kilovolts, compared to the 0.2 to 10 kilovolt range of
Chandra. A major difference is that RXTE has no focusing
X-ray mirrors, so it cannot make X-ray images. It is best
used to study the time variations in bright X-ray sources in
binary stars systems containing black holes and neutrons
stars, for which it has provided a wealth of valuable
information. In addition, RXTE carries an All-Sky Monitor
that scans about 80% of the sky every orbit, allowing
monitoring at time scales of 90 minutes or longer.
For more information see: