X-ray 101

Dec
04

There are those of us who are experts, and then those of us who are not. Even some of us who have been working in X-ray astronomy can lose track of some of the basics. To help provide a little introduction or perhaps just a refresher, we’ve put together a little thing we like to call “X-ray 101”. It’s meant just to give a very quick overview of what Chandra is and what X-ray astronomy is all about.

baseball image from activity
A sample image from the activity

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News flash: Sticky tape generates X-rays

Nov
24

Recently a group of researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles announced what has been described by the New York Times as a "tour de force of office supply physics." The scientists measured X-ray flashes from a roll of Scotch tape as it was unpeeled.

Scotch tape experiment
Watch the full video at Nature

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A Pinwheel in X-rays

Nov
24

M101 Chandra X-ray

M101: A large spiral galaxy about 25 million light years away in the constellation Ursa Major. More at http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/m101/

Download the desktop: http://chandra.harvard.edu/resources/desktops_year.html?year=2008

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FREE STUFF!

Nov
19

Now that we shamelessly have your attention, we'd like to invite you to take a survey about our newly redesigned website. We know, we know, surveys can be less than stimulating. To make it worth your while, we are offering the possibility of a free package of Chandra goodies – bookmarks, postcards, etc. – that will be mailed directly to you. We’ll pick 50 people randomly to get the stuff, and we’ll let you know if you’ve been chosen.

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Huge Russian Dolls Surrounding a Galaxy

Nov
18

M84 Chandra Image

M84: A massive elliptical galaxy about 55 million light years away in the Virgo Cluster. More at http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/m84/

-Kim Arcand, CXC

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Happy Anniversary, Einstein Observatory!

Nov
17

While we like to focus on the current excitement in X-ray astronomy, sometimes it's good to look back. Last week marked the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Einstein Observatory. Back on November 13, 1978, the High Energy Astrophysics Observatory 2 was launched on Atlas-Centaur booster rocket. Shortly afterward, the satellite was renamed in honor of that little known scientist, Albert Einstein. While HEAO-2 is catchy, we think Einstein is a little easier off the tongue.

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The Latest New Thing

Nov
06

If you haven't noticed by now, we like new things around here. In fact, it almost pains us to see something out there that's fun and exciting that we’re not a part of. So to remedy that, we just try to get Chandra involved with everything we can. The latest, in our humble opinion, is very cool.

3d wall

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Fingers, Loops and Bays in The Crab Nebula

Nov
06

crab nebula

Crab Nebula: A supernova remnant and pulsar located 6000 light years from Earth in the constellation of Taurus. More at http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/crab/

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From One X-ray Mission to Another

Oct
28

As many of this blog's readers may know, Chandra is NASA's flagship X-ray mission but it's not the only major X-ray telescope in orbit. The other one is XMM-Newton, which was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) just five months after Chandra in 1999. The great thing about Chandra and XMM-Newton is that many of their capabilities are complementary. In other words, scientists often use both and can combine the data for even stronger results.

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Aesthetics & Astronomy

Oct
22

Here at the Chandra X-ray Center, we work hard to make the images that you find on the public website. No, there’s no magic button that we push to make pretty pictures. In fact, there are countless keystrokes, mouse movements, and lots of thinking that go into these images of the cosmos that are fit for public consumption.

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