Dr. Randall Smith joins us this week for our "Meet an Astronomer" segment. Randall has worn several astronomical hats over the years, but right now he's putting most of his effort into working on the International X-ray Observatory. For those of you who haven't heard of it, IXO as it's known, is the
planned next generation of X-ray telescope following along the lineage of Chandra, XMM-Newton and others. To make this happen, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and JAXA, Japan's space agency, have joined forces to work on this proposed mission. Look for Randall - or at least his voice - to be featured in an upcoming Chandra podcast that covers some of the topics X-ray astronomy will continue to explore in the years to come.

-Megan Watzke, CXC


Astronomy never ceases to

Astronomy never ceases to amaze me. I admire the way people like Dr. Smith explore and reveal new things to us, like a good storyteller. I hope to hear him in the upcoming Chandra podcast.

yeah true, respect for the

yeah true, respect for the people that are willing to do something like this.

RE: Astronomy Never Ceases To

You can hear more from Randall Smith in the latest 5-minute Chandra podcast "Peering into the X-ray Future":


Kim for Chandra

I have an utmost respect for

I have an utmost respect for people that dedicate their lives to this type of matters.

Astronomy is definitely not for everyone.

I sincerely admire your brains and talent.


IXO sounds like an amazing

IXO sounds like an amazing initiative What kind of funding are they receiving for the project?


When I was still young, I definitely wanted to be an astronomer. But I gave up at some point as I was not so good in mathematics, actually just a question of hard work and understanding words, their definition and the concept they convey.

Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith is in IXO but is he in the Chandra too ?

I used to work for Chandra,

I used to work for Chandra, but am now full-time on IXO. In fact, I'm one of the few people to have worked on all of the currently-operating 'major' X-ray satellites -- I was with Chandra from launch until 2004, and then worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center with the Suzaku satellite, a Japanese/US collaboration. Then I moved to supporting the XMM-Newton mission, an ESA satellite with US support, and from there to the IXO mission. I'm also a co-Investigator on the next Japanese/US X-ray satellite, currently named Astro-H.

What can I say? I like working with X-ray satellites.

Astronomy fascinates human kind

Astronomy fascinates human kind since ancient times. The findings of Dr. Smith reveals some of the glorious cosmological facts. The bang theory may one redefine Astrophysics.

Thanks for sharing

Absolutely riveting interview! I knew something of the local bubble, but never thought about the impact to would-be visitors! :)

RE: Meet An Astronomer: Randall Smith

Very interesting web cast. Recomend to everybody interested in the field.

I agree

Great interview! It was very interesting and insightful.

Cool post.

Cool post, is this his twitter?
I hope so, because I'm now either following him or some other random guy that shares his name lol


RE: Cool Post.

Sorry, that is a different Peter Edmonds. Chandra is on twitter however. Go to: http://twitter.com/chandraxray/ (We are working to improve our Twitter to make it even more useful & interactive)

Kim, for Chandra.

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