The launches of the X-Ray Observatory in June 1999 and the Observatory in December 1999 opened a new era in X-ray astronomy. Both of these missions incorporate novel diffraction grating spectrometers that are providing the first high-resolution X-ray spectra of most classes of astrophysical sources. The spectra obtained to date exhibit a wealth of discrete detail, yielding sensitive constraints on physical conditions in the emitting plasmas. We review the essential characteristics of these instruments, the basics of X-ray spectral formation in cosmic sources, and the exciting new results that have emerged from and grating observations of a wide variety of astrophysical systems.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error