NASA Celebrated 20th Anniversary of X-Ray Observatory

NASA Celebrated 20th Anniversary of X-Ray Observatory

NASA celebrated Chandra X-Ray Observatory 20th anniversary. In 1999, July 23 the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

In the two decades that have passed, Chandra’s X-ray Observatory have contributed to a revolution in the understanding of the Universe.

Chandra is one of NASA’s “Great Observatories” (along with the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory), and has the sharpest vision of any X-ray telescope ever built. It is often used in conjunction with telescopes like Hubble and Spitzer that observe in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, and with other high-energy missions like the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s NuSTAR.

“In this year of exceptional anniversaries – 50 years after Apollo 11 and 100 years after the solar eclipse that proved Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity – we should not lose sight of one more,” said Paul Hertz, Director of Astrophysics at NASA. “Chandra was launched 20 years ago, and it continues to deliver amazing science discoveries year after year.”

On this occasion Chandra’s 20th anniversary of science operations, NASA has released new images representing the breadth of Chandra’s exploration, demonstrating the variety of objects it studies as well as how X-rays complement the data collected in other types of light.

These new images are a sample of Chandra’s spectacular X-ray vision.

“Chandra remains peerless in its ability to find and study X-ray sources,” said Chandra X-ray Center Director Belinda Wilkes. “Since virtually every astronomical source emits X-rays, we need a telescope like Chandra to fully view and understand our Universe.”

“The building and operation of Chandra has always been and continues to be a team effort,” said Martin Weisskopf, Chandra Project Scientist of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to be involved with this scientific powerhouse.”

Source: Text; NASA

Image credit; NASA