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Q&A: Chandra Mission

Q:
What is the aperture size, the resolution, and the reflector material of Chandra's mirrors?

A:
CHANDRA MIRRORS
Chandra mirrors use grazing incidence reflections to focus X-rays, so the mirrors are barrel-shaped rather than dish-shaped. Chandra's mirror assembly consists of a nested array of four mirror pairs (Two reflections are required to make an image). The largest mirror has an outer diameter of 4 feet (1.2 m). The effective area of the mirror assembly ranges from about 800 square cm at wavelengths longer than 6 Angstroms down to 40 square cm at the shortest wavelengths.

The resolution of the mirrors is one-half arc second.

The mirrors are coated with iridium.

Find out more about Chandra's specifications


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