Tag Archives: Chandra

Out of This World – Catching Some X-Rays

Posted on November 1st, 2016

Archiving may seem like a tedious chore to many people as keeping records and making sure they are properly filed isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. When you really stop to think about it you’ll realize how important this task really is. No one wants to reverse engineer a spacecraft because they lost the blueprints; or misplace a beautiful composite image of the Moon because the hard drive wasn’t backed up. So to celebrate American Archive Month, the Chandra X-ray Observatory released 6 new composite images captured by the system. The Chandra telescope detects light in the X-ray spectrum, allowing it to observe high-energy phenomenon’s throughout the Universe, like star clusters, pulsars and supernova remnants. Combining Chandra’s X-ray data with other satellites creates the most amazing composite images that are deserving of the archives. Stars form inside thick clouds of interstellar dust. Nearly 20,000 light years away, Westerlund 2 is one such star cluster. The newly created bright, pink-tinged stars are at the center of the cluster and create intense ultraviolet light and strong stellar winds that sweep away the surrounding clouds. The light from the visible spectrum picks up the clouds but cannot penetrate into their depths, as … testContinue reading

Out of This World – Happy 15th Birthday Chandra!

Posted on August 5th, 2014

It is time to celebrate the 15th birthday of one of my favorite space telescopes: the Chandra X-ray Observatory. To commemorate this event, NASA has released four new spectacular images of supernova remnants depicting the high-energy X-ray light coming from the aftermath of an exploded star. With the data collected by Chandra, astronomers have made great strides in understanding our Universe and deciphering the spectacular phenomenon that occur within it. At the moment, Chandra is being used to help unravel the mystery of a gamma-ray burst that lasted an unprecedented 1.9 hours and the light from which has been traveling for 3.9 billion years. The length of the burst is clueing astronomers into the anatomy of what they believe to be a blue supergiant, and these may help astronomers detect some of the earliest stars in our Universe. Star cluster formation theory has recently been revamped due to discoveries from Chandra. It was believed that stars form at the center of condensing, giant gas and dust clouds as material is pulled into the center of the cloud until it becomes dense enough to start star formation. In collaboration with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers were able to estimate the age … testContinue reading

Reaching Orbit – Updates

Posted on December 3rd, 2013

Asteroids Asteroids are all the rage in the news and at NASA these days. Whether it is lassoing, wrangling, imaging or detecting, asteroids are the new fad in space science and innovation. Most recently, NASA has teamed up with Planetary Resources Inc. to develop a crowd-sourced software that better detects near-Earth objects. Using NASA-funded sky survey data, contestants will create algorithms that the agency will utilize to enhance existing surveys. The increased accuracy in detecting near-Earth asteroids has two major benefits, the obvious being avoiding Armageddon (because nobody wants to be stuck on an asteroid with Bill Bob Thornton) and the second is identifying possible candidates for asteroid wrangling and exploration. NASA and Education On November 20th, NASA launched 11 small cubesat research satellites into low-Earth orbit. These cubesats are a part of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanaosatellite, meant to get a younger generation involved with space exploration and spaceflight engineering.  The program is a low-cost way for students to gain experience in developing flight hardware. Of the 11 cubesats, nine were from universities, one from a NASA center and, for the first time, one came from a high school. Chandra Oh Chandra, how I love thee! Before I wax … testContinue reading

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