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Q&A: Chandra Mission

Q:
If you pointed Chandra at Earth, what would it see?

A:
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On the daylight side, Chandra would see lots of X-rays reflected from the atmosphere. These X-rays are produced by collisions of high-energy particles from the Sun with the atmosphere. X-rays from the radiation belts that surround the Earth would be detected. In any event, the daylight Earth is too bright to observe with Chandra. The X-rays would swamp the detectors and possibly damage them. The nighttime X-ray flux would be would be less intense, but the radiation belt X-rays would still pose a problem.
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