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The Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra X-ray Observatory. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory , which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. CXC. Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date.

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

On July 23, 1999 at 12:31 a.m. EDT, the solid rocket motors in the Solid Rocket Boosters on NASA Shuttle Transportation System 93 (STS-93) ignited. Under the command of Col. Eileen Collins, the shuttle lifted off the launch pad at John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Its mission: to carry NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory into space.

Preparing for launch

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

From left are Mission Specialist Michel Tognini of France, Pilot Jeffrey S. Ashby, Commander Eileen M. Collins, and Mission Specialists Steven A. Hawley (Ph.D.) and Catherine G. Coleman (Ph.D.).

Here is the crew!

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

STS-93 Launch

Two minutes after launch, the burn from the Solid Rocket Boosters was completed and the boosters separated from the shuttle.

Parachutes blossomed and carried the boosters gently into the Atlantic Ocean where they were recovered

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Forty-five minutes after launch the shuttle orbiter Columbia achieved a circular orbit 320 kilometers (200 miles) above Earth.

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Deployment of Chandra, July 23, 1999

At two hours into the mission, the payload doors opened and the astronauts prepared to deploy the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

For six hours, while Columbia silently orbited Earth, all the systems on the Chandra spacecraft were checked out and the satellite reached equilibrium with the conditions in space.

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Eight hours and 42 minutes after launch, a small spring gently catapulted Chandra Deployment the giant satellite into space. Columbia pulled away a safe distance, and at 9 hours and 41 minutes into the mission, the first of two solid rocket motors attached to Chandra's spacecraft module ignited. The rocket burned for two minutes before shutting off and separating from the spacecraft. Three minutes later the second rocket fired.

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Chandra’s Instruments

These firings lifted the Chandra X-ray Observatory into a highly elliptical orbit that took the satellite 64,000 kilometers away from Earth before returning to a closest approach of 320 kilometers.

The solar panels deployed and the second solid rocket motor separated.

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Chandra in Orbit

Over the course of the next nine days a 2nd propulsion system fired 5 times to take the observatory to its final orbit. In this orbit, the distance of Chandra from Earth ranged from 10,000 miles) to about 83,000 miles), more than 1/3 of the way to the moon.

The time to complete an orbit is 64 hours and 18 minutes. This allows for observation times as long as 52 hours, much longer than can be achieved with the low-Earth orbit used by most satellites.

Earth

Chandra

Moon

CXC


The chandra x ray observatory

Chandra X-ray Observatory

The Chandra science team was rewarded with beautiful images about one month after launch.

Cas A is the remnant of a star that exploded about 300 years ago.

First Light

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The chandra x ray observatory

  • Chandra flies 200 times higher than Hubble - more than 1/3 of the way to the moon!

  • Chandra can observe X-rays from clouds of gas so vast that it takes light five million years to go from one side to the other!

  • During maneuvers from one target to the next, Chandra slews more slowly than the minute hand on a clock.

  • At 45 feet long, Chandra is the largest satellite the shuttle has ever launched!

  • If Colorado were as smooth as Chandra's mirrors, Pikes Peak would be less than one inch tall!

  • Chandra's resolving power is equivalent to the ability to read a stop sign at a distance of twelve miles.

  • The electrical power required to operate the Chandra spacecraft and instruments is 2 kilowatts, about the same power as a hair dryer.

  • The light from some of the quasars observed by Chandra will have been traveling through space for ten billion years.

  • STS-93, the space mission that deployed Chandra, was the first NASA shuttle mission commanded by a woman.

  • Chandra can observe X-rays from particles up to the last second before they fall into a black hole!!!


The chandra x ray observatory

Using Uncle Al's SkyWheel of the way to the moon!

Match up the date and the time of night you are stargazing. During Daylight Savings Time (about from April to October, you will have to set your SkyWheel one hour behind.)

Hold the SkyWheel overhead. If you are facing north, hold your SkyWheel so that the words “Northern Horizon” are in front (facing north).


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing north

Set your Sky Wheel for the date and time above!

What constellation is in the red oval?

GRRR!


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing north

North Star

(Polaris)

Part of Ursa Major is called the Big Dipper. Once you have found this, it is easy to find the North Star (Polaris).

In Brunswick, ME, if you point one arm straight up and point the other towards north along the horizon, you will find the North Star about halfway in between.

Pointer stars in the Big Dipper


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing north

North Star

(Polaris)

What constellation is in the red oval?

grrr!


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing north

What else can you see?

Watch out! One might breathe fire!


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing north

Do the outlines help?


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing north

Were you right?


The chandra x ray observatory

This image of the large spiral galaxy of the way to the moon! NGC 2841 shows multimillion degree gas (blue/X-ray) rising above the disk of stars and cooler gas (gray/optical).

What does Chandra see?

composite image

Hubble image

Chandra image

Chandra scientists discovered a glowing bubble of hot gas and an unexpected X-ray bright central star within Cat's Eye Nebula.

My eye?

Artist’s image

of a black hole

Left: M82, at a distance of 11 million light years, is a rare nearby starburst galaxy where stars are forming and expiring at a rate ten times higher than in our galaxy.

Right: Chandra images evidence for a black hole in M82.

Chandra image

Chandra image


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing east

Turn your Sky Wheel so that the words “Eastern Horizon” face to the front.

Whose “belt” is in the red box?


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing east

The star in his left shoulder (Betelgeuse) is a red giant and even looks pink with the naked eye!

The star “twins” Castor and Pollux are part of what constellation?


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing east

The stars in this red box are part of what constellation?

Hint: It is Neptune, the sea god, riding his seahorse drawn chariot across the sky!


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing east

Do the outlines help?


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing east

Were you right?


The chandra x ray observatory

What does Chandra see? of the way to the moon!

composite image

A superdense neutron star left behind by a stellar death or supernova in 1054 A.D is spewing out a blizzard of extremely high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula.

Image of the Orion Nebula Cluster showing young stars producing violent X-ray outbursts, or flares, much more frequent and energetic than anything seen today from our 4.6 billion-year-old Sun.

Chandra image

There are 10,000,000 of us! How will we ever fit?

Supernova remnant, IC 443

The yellow arrow points to a neutron star that is spewing out a comet-like wake of high-energy particles as it races through space.

A neutron star would have the same density as 10 million full-sized African elephants in the space of a thimble.

composite image


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing west

Turn your Skywheel so that the words “Western Horizon” face to the front.

What is the constellation in the red box?

Hint: This constellation is sometimes called the Northern Cross.


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing west

Do the outlines help?


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing west

Were you right?


The chandra x ray observatory

What does Chandra see? of the way to the moon!

This Chandra image shows a giant football-shaped cavity (yellow/light orange inner region) within X-ray emitting hot gas surrounding the galaxy Cygnus A.

A game of intergalactic toss?

This image reveals dramatic details of a portion of the Crescent Nebula, a giant gaseous shell created by powerful winds blowing from the massive star

The X-ray emission from Cygnus X-3 is due to matter falling from a normal star onto a nearby neutron star or black hole.


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing south

Turn your Skywheel so that the words “Southern Horizon” face to the front.

What is the constellation in the red box?


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing south

What other constellations can you see? Part of one is in the red circle.


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing south

Here are the outlines…

Here are the outlines …


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

facing south

Pices

Were you right?


The chandra x ray observatory

What does Chandra see? of the way to the moon!

Pices

This composite X-ray (red)/optical (blue & white) image of the spiral galaxy M74 highlights an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) which radiates 10 to 1000 times more X-ray power than neutron stars and stellar mass black holes.

This image of the Cartwheel Galaxy combines data from four different observatories: the Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple); the Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite (ultraviolet/blue); the Hubble Space Telescope (visible/green); the Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared/red).

The Chandra image shows Mira A (right), a highly evolved red giant star, and Mira B (left), a white dwarf. To the right of the image is an artist's conception


The chandra x ray observatory

Dec. 15, 7PM of the way to the moon!

everything

Don’t forget to look directly over your head!

Cas A – The youngest supernova remnant in the Milky Way

Cepheus

Cassiopeia

Happy Stargazing!

NGC 40: This image shows hot gas around a dying, Sun-like star.