Monitoring the activity variations of galactic X-ray sources with WATCH on EURECA

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    Abstract

    Among the many instruments carried on the first EURECA mission was also one aimed at doing astrophysical research. This instrument, WATCH, (Wide Angle Telescope for Cosmic Hard X-rays) is sensitive in the 6 to 150 keV energy range and has a total field of view covering a quarter of the sky. During its 11 month operational life, EURECA tracked the Sun, and WATCH gradually scanned across the entire sky. The signals from more than two dozen known galactic X-ray sources have been identified in the data, and the activity state of each source has been recorded as a function of time. For several sources the observation periods extended over more than 100 days. A number of X-ray transients with durations between one and five days were discovered, and, additionally two long duration X-ray transients (GRS 1915+10 and GRO J0422+32) were active and could be monitored. Towards the end of the mission a special “offset pointing” program was initiated on request from the WATCH PI. This program proved very successful and allowed WATCH to scan more than 80% of the sky in the course of only two weeks.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAdvances in Space Research
    Volume16
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)(8)37-(8)42
    ISSN0273-1177
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

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