Chandra X-Ray Observatory
Chandra is a space telescope, launched by NASA in 1999, which uses x-ray radiation to study the universe. The Earth's atmosphere absorbs the majority of x-rays, and therefore x-ray observatories must operate from space. Chandra is an Earth satellite, with a 64 hour orbit.
Some facts about the telescope:
- Observatory location: In orbit around the Earth
- Altitude: 105,312 km
- Mass: 4,790 kg
- Dimensions: 14 x 20 metres
- Launch date: 24th April 1990
The data collected by Chandra has greatly advanced our understanding of x-ray astronomy. Chandra's discoveries include:
- x-ray emission from the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way
- a new type of black hole
- cool gas in the centre of the Andromeda galaxy
- x-ray emission from main sequence stars
Chandra was given an initial lifetime of 5 years. However, NASA extended its lifetime to 10 years due to the telescope's outstanding results. Chandra is still in operation as of 2017.