the branch of astronomy that studies celestial objects by means of the x-rays emitted by them.
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Compare x-ray (def. 1b).
Origin of x-ray astronomy
First recorded in 1960–65
OTHER WORDS FROM x-ray astronomyx-ray astronomer, noun
Words nearby x-ray astronomy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for x-ray astronomy
the branch of astronomy concerned with the detection and measurement of X-rays emitted by certain celestial bodies. As X-rays are absorbed by the atmosphere, satellites and rockets are used
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for x-ray astronomy
The study of celestial objects by measurement of the x-rays they emit. Because the Earth's atmosphere absorbs x-rays, x-ray detectors are usually carried into space on satellites. X-rays are emitted by high-energy objects such as active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, x-ray binary stars, neutron stars, and the regions around black holes. Objects which do not produce their own x-rays can reflect radiation from nearby stars, making it possible to study the objects using x-ray astronomy; one notable example of this is the analysis of solar x-rays reflected by the Moon.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.