A Lunar Occultation of the Dust-Scattering Halo Around GX 5-1 Observed with ROSAT

Science  14 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5072, pp. 935-937
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5072.935


The x-ray source GX 5-1 in the galactic bulge has been observed with the position-sensitive proportional counter onboard the Röntgen satellite (ROSAT) during and after a lunar occultation. Extended emission around the source was unambiguously discovered while the central source was behind the lunar rim. This emission is interpreted as a dust-scattering halo around GX 5-1 that has a fractional intensity of 28 percent, implying a grain column density between GX 5-1 and Earth of ∼3 x 1010 per square centimeter. The halo derived from imaging during the ROSAT all-sky survey is identical to that obtained from the lunar occultation, thus demonstrating that the ROSAT x-ray mirror scattering has not changed as compared with the mirror properties as measured in preflight calibrations.