The X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory conducts investigations of a broad range of astronomical systems through detection and analysis of their X-ray emission and other radiation they emit. Objects studied range from nearby solar system objects to cosmological structures. Researchers at the Laboratory investigate the physics of extreme environments?such as those near the event horizons of black holes?and the evolution of stars, galaxies, and large-scale structures.
The Laboratory is the preeminent developer of state-of-the-art X-ray astronomical detectors and optical systems for performing precise spectroscopy, polarimetry, timing, and imaging. These instruments have been employed in numerous suborbital applications (sounding rockets and balloons) and orbiting observatories.
Read a history of X-ray astronomy at Goddard.