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Astron. Astrophys. 357, L21-L24 (2000)

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2. Observations and data extraction

The Wide Field Camera experiment (Jager et al. 1997) is located on the BeppoSAX platform which was launched early 1996 (Boella et al. 1997). It comprises two identically designed coded-aperture multi-wire Xenon proportional counter detectors. The field of view of each camera is 40[FORMULA]40 degrees full width to zero response, which makes it the largest of any flown X-ray imaging device with good angular resolution. The angular resolution is [FORMULA] full width at half maximum, and the accuracy of the source location is upward of [FORMULA], depending mainly on the signal-to-noise ratio. The photon energy range is 2-28 keV, and the time resolution is 0.5 ms. Due to the coded mask aperture the detector data consist of a superposition of the background and shadowgrams of multiple sources. To reconstruct the sky image an algorithm is employed which is based on cross correlation of the detector image with the coded mask (Jager et al. 1997).

Since the fall of 1996, the Wide Field Cameras observe the field around the Galactic Center on a regular basis during each fall and spring. The first campaign was a nine-day near-continuous observation from August 21 until August 30, 1996. About 30% of the time, viz. [FORMULA]35 minutes per orbit, is lost due to earth occultation and due to passage through the South Atlantic Anomaly.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: May 3, 2000