Chandra X-ray Observatory

The Chandra X-ray Observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

The Chandra X-ray Observatory makes stunning images of the Universe by measuring X-rays given off by high energy objects such as black holes and supernova remnants.

Launched aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1999, Chandra is one of NASA's four Great Observatories, the others being the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, The Spitzer Space Telescope, and the famous Hubble Space Telescope. Each of these spacecraft was designed to measure different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The telescope was named after the great astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

Image: A computer-generated view of Chandra (credit: NASA)

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The Chandra X-ray Observatory

Introduction

This space telescope measures the Universe's high energy objects.

About Chandra X-ray Observatory

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, previously known as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), is a space telescope launched on STS-93 by NASA on July 23, 1999. Chandra is sensitive to X-ray sources 100 times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope, enabled by the high angular resolution of its mirrors. Since the Earth's atmosphere absorbs the vast majority of X-rays, they are not detectable from Earth-based telescopes; therefore space-based telescopes are required to make these observations. Chandra is an Earth satellite in a 64-hour orbit, and its mission is ongoing as of 2014.

Chandra is one of the Great Observatories, along with the Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (1991–2000), and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Chandra has been described as being as revolutionary to astronomy as Galileo's first telescope. The telescope is named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

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