General

Digging for Gold in Chandra's Archives

Oct
03

October is American Archives Month—a time to celebrate the importance of archives across the country. In honor of Archives Month, we're participating in a pan-Smithsonian blogathon. Throughout October we, and other blogs from across the Smithsonian, will be blogging about Chandra's rich archive of astronomical data, issues, and behind-the-scenes projects. Check out the RSS feed of blogathon posts from across the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian will also be celebrating Archives Month with other activities, including an Archives Fair , a Facebook Q&A with Smithsonian archivists/conservationists, and live-streamed lectures.

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Summer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA, is a perfect time for picking up projects that have been sitting on the back burner for a while. As activities slow down a bit, it's great to dig deeper into the Chandra data archive looking for a hidden gem; and when sifting through over 8 terabytes of data comprising more than 10,000 observations from one of NASA's "Great Observatories," you're bound to unearth more than a few.

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A very good year

Sep
27

The year 1905 was certainly a busy one for Albert Einstein. He had at least five papers published during that time. Not only would any scientist be proud to be so prolific, but Einstein was able to enjoy the fact these papers fundamentally changed the way we understood how the Universe worked.

Einstein
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Getting the Scoop on Space for Kids

Aug
31

This week, we're getting our foot in the door of an exciting new project. The European Southern Observatory has teamed up with the Universe Awareness project to produce kid-friendly versions of press releases on astronomy.

Space Scoop
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A Birthday Card for Chandra

Jul
27

This is a slightly abridged version of a note that was recently sent around to the Chandra team by Harvey Tananbaum (Director of the Chandra X-ray Center) and Roger Brissenden (CXC Manager and Deputy Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) to congratulate everyone on Chandra’s 12th birthday. With the end of the Space Shuttle program just last week, it was a fitting reminder just that a short dozen years ago, Columbia blasted off carrying Chandra safely into orbit.

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SAO + NASM = FETTSS @ SI

Jun
28

For those of you who don’t like acronyms (or who don't work for the government), the title of this post is probably indecipherable. It does, however, have quite a bit of meaning.

The translation into English is "Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and National Air and Space Museum makes "From Earth to the Solar System at the Smithsonian Institution."

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Chandra & the Carnival of Space

Jun
23

The Carnival of Space is a round up of astronomy and space-related blogs that started back in 2007. Every week, a different webmaster or blogger hosts the carnival, showcasing articles written on the topic of space. This week, it's our turn to host the Carnival here on the Chandra blog. Enjoy!

Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Space. We’ve got a lot to cover in the weekly blog carnival, so let’s jump right into it.

On WeirdWarp, Chris Dann features the latest view of the Centaurus A galaxy from the Hubble Space Telescope. This famous galaxy just seems to get better each time a telescope takes a new look.

Mike Simonsen at Simostronomy has an account of his recent trip to the Texas Star Party. Sounds like quite an event!

two giant planets
Over at Urban Astronomer, we find a write up of a newly discovered planetary system that didn't make too many headlines, but is fascinating nonetheless. This system apparently contains two giant planets around a pair of stars – a result that would have been pure science fiction just a few years ago.

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Black Hole Webchat Tomorrow

Jun
14

If you’re one who follows astro-news regularly, you’ve probably heard by now that there will be a Chandra press conference. While we can't give out too much information in advance, we can say that this press conference covers black holes in the early Universe. This event will be televised on NASA TV and anyone can watch it live, beginning at 1pm Eastern, and follow #babyblackholes on Twitter

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Chandra: Promises Made and Kept

May
20

A promise made is a debt unpaid. Robert Service
Chance favors the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur

Not long ago a request came down from above for a list of Chandra’s achievements that have “completely transformed the way we have viewed our world, solar system, sun, or universe."

In other words, how many discoveries of the century have you made this year?

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Flute Duet Like no Other

Apr
11

Cady Coleman was one of the astronauts who helped launch Chandra aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia back in July 1999. While we have always appreciated her many talents -- chemist, Air Force officer, astronaut, and mother -- we didn’t realize that we were missing out on another: flutist.

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