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Animations & Video: The Chandra Mirrors
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High-resolution animation of Chandra mirror comparison
1. MIRROR COMPARISON
QuickTime MPEG
*Broadcast Quality

X-rays that strike a mirror head-on are absorbed. X-rays that hit a mirror at grazing angles are reflected like a pebble skipping across a pond. Thus, X-ray telescope mirrors are shaped like barrels rather than dishes.
[Runtime: 0:25]
(Animation: CXC/D.Berry) - View Still Photos

Java animation of mirror reflection
2. MIRROR REFLECTION
Java Animation
Photons of visible light enter the telescope at the left, reflect off the parabolic mirror surface and are collected at the focus. Unfortunately, x-ray photons don't reflect as nicely as do visible photons (click on x-ray to change the photons to x-rays - shown in black). Because of the higher energy of these photons, they are absorbed at the surface of the mirror instead of reflecting. (Animation: CXC/Rutgers)

Java animation of x-ray vs. optical light
3. MIRRORS: X-RAY vs. VISIBLE LIGHT
Java Animation
X-rays do not reflect off mirrors the same way that visible light does. Because of their high energy, X-ray photons that strike a mirror directly will penetrate into the mirror in much the same way that bullets aimed directly at a surface will bury themselves in it. (Animation: CXC/Rutgers)


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