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The Ginga Satellite

photo of Ginga in the clean room
Credit: ISAS

Astro-C, renamed Ginga (Japanese for 'galaxy'), was launched from the Kagoshima Space Center on 5 February 1987. The primary instrument for observations was the Large Area Counter (LAC). Ginga was the third Japanese X-ray astronomy mission, following Hakucho and Tenma. Ginga reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 1 November 1991.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime: February 5, 1987 - November 1, 1991
* Energy Range: 1 - 500 keV
* Payload:
  • Large Area Proportional Counter (LAC) 1.5-37 keV
    Eff. area = 4000 cm2, FOV = 0.8° x 1.7°
  • All-Sky Monitor (ASM) 1-20 keV
    Eff. area = 70 cm2, FOV = 1° x 180°
  • Gamma-Ray Burst Detector (GBD) 1.5-500 keV
    Eff. area = 60 cm2 (SC) and 63 cm2 (PC), FOV = All-sky
* Science Highlights:
  • Discovery of transient Black Hole Candidates and study of their spectral evolution.
  • Discovery of weak transients in the galactic ridge.
  • Detection of cyclotron features in 3 X-ray pulsars: 4U1538-522, V0332+53, and Cep X-4.
  • Evidence for emission and absorption Fe feature in Seyfert probing reprocessing by cold matter.
  • Discovery of intense 6-7 keV iron line emission from the galactic center region.
* Archive: Lightcurves, Spectra, and Raw data from the LAC experiment.
[About Ginga] ( [Archive] ( [Software] ( [Gallery] ( [Publications] (

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