A PROGRAM OF RESEARCH FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF FLUORESCENT X-RADIATION FROM THE MOON AND FOR THE DETECTION OF OTHER X-RAY SOURCES IN THE NIGHT SKY.
AMERICAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING INC CAMBRIDGE MASS
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This document describes a research program intended to investigate the fluorescent x-radiation from the lunar surface and other possible sources of x-rays in the night sky. A detailed description of a rocket experiment comprising large area Geiger counters is presented. The results of two rocket flights carrying the experimental equipment are shown. One of these rocket flights, occurring in June 1962, resulted in the discovery of an intense source of x-rays, not of solar or terrestrial origin, in the direction of the constellation Scorpius. Also present is a considerable background of soft radiation, which apparently is also x-radiation of non-solar or terrestrial origin. These sources have important astrophysical significance, but their origin is not yet clear. In view of the background of soft radiation encountered in the flight, it was not possible to make a meaningful estimate of the x-ray flux originating from the Moon. Several experiments are described in which it should be possible to measure the lunar flux in the presence of this newly discovered background of x-rays. Author