NASA Insignia
Imagine the Universe!

A Brief History of High Energy Observatories

Astronomers have been studying the high energy (X-ray and gamma-ray) sky for decades. Check out the links below to learn more.

X-ray Observatories Over Time
An artist's conception of the Exosat image
These two pages present a general overview of the history of telescopes used to conduct X-ray astronomy and a timeline of missions over the decades. During that time, the sensitivity of the X-ray detectors has increased greatly. In addition our ability to focus X-rays has developed, allowing us to obtain high-quality X-ray images of many fascinating celestial objects.
Gamma-ray Observatories Over Time
The OSO-1 satellite under construction
This page presents the many satellites that have detected gamma-ray radiation from the 1960s to today. Over that time detectors have become more sensitive and better able to determine the origin on the sky of the incoming gamma rays.
Cosmic-ray Observatories Over Time
This page gives a brief history of satellites devoted to cosmic-ray astronomy, focusing on missions that have detected non-solar cosmic rays (intentionally or not).
Celebrating 10 Years of the Suzaku Satellite
Suzaku launch photo
We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the launch of Suzaku in 2015 with a series of articles about its top discoveries.