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Q&A: Chandra Mission

Q:
Why was the chandra telescope invented?

A:
The Chandra telescope (the Chandra X-ray Observatory is its official name) was built to look at very hot objects in the universe since hot objects emit X-ray radiation. More information is available at http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_astro/discover.html

The objects Chandra was designed to study include the area very close to black holes in order to discover what happens to matter that falls into them, how black holes grow and evolve with time; solving the mystery of the biggest and hottest explosions in the universe (called gamma-ray bursts); and furthering our understanding of exploding stars called supernovas.

Chandra was also designed to improve on previous X-ray telescopes funded by NASA such as the Einstein Observatory. Chandra is able to see twice the range of energies, 8 times finer detail, and has a much greater collecting area than the Einstein Observatory did.

More information on Chandra and X-ray astronomy may be found on our web pages here: http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_astro/

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