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Q&A: Chandra Mission

Q:
Why the length of time between Chandra seeing and us seeing on the site? For example, the quasar pairs were seen by Chandra in 2000, but we are seeing them on the site in 2002.

A:
After the satellite collects the data, it undergoes some preliminary processing and gets delivered to the scientist who proposed that observation. This usually takes a few days. The scientist then has one full year to examine, analyze, and study this data. It usually takes months for scientists to do this, especially considering they have several projects going on at once. After that, scientists generally write a formal paper to be submitted to a journal for peer-reviewed publication. Press releases and other publicity usually hinge on this publication, as we use that as a sign of complete and accurate analysis of the data. There is more information on this process at http://chandra.harvard.edu/resources/faq/chandra/chandra-3.html.


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