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NASA Unveils Unimaginable Cosmic Views As Chandra X-Ray Observatory Celebrates 20 Years

It's been 20 years since NASA's X-ray Chandra Observatory was launched to offer us the sharpest view ever seen on X-rays – and the telescope continues to be working on the frontier of science, mentioned the # 39; company.

The observatory, dubbed the identify of the late Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, American Indian astrophysicist, was launched on July 23, 1999. He climbed into house aboard the Columbia shuttle. Since then, he has been circling the Earth and watching the sky. To commemorate this nice anniversary, NASA not too long ago launched six new pictures of Chandra, illustrating every little thing from the sunshine of the nascent stars to the construction of huge clusters of galaxies.

"Chandra is unmatched in her capability to seek out and examine X-ray sources," mentioned Belinda Wilkes, director of Chandra's X-ray heart, in a press release. "Since just about all astronomical sources emit X-rays, we want a telescope like Chandra to totally visualize and perceive our universe."

Associated: X-ray Universe: Wonderful Photographs of Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Image 1 of seven

A choice of pictures that the Chandra X-ray Observatory has collected over its 20 years of labor.

(Picture credit score: NASA / CXC)

Picture 2 of seven

Cygnus OB2 is stuffed with younger large stars that may die shortly sufficient. Chandra's knowledge is indicated in pink and blue dots. Blue spots had been noticed with the Newton telescope and orange knowledge was collected within the infrared by the Spitzer house telescope.

(Picture credit score: X-rays: NASA / CXC / SAO / J. Drake and others; H-alpha: College of Hertfordshire / INT / IPHAS; Infrared: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Spitzer)

Picture three of seven

This picture combines knowledge from the Chandra X-ray observatory in blue and the Hubble House Telescope in purple from a star formation area known as NGC 604.

(Picture credit score: X-Ray: NASA / CXC / CfA / R. Tuellmann et al., Optics: NASA / AURA / STScI / J. Schmidt)

Picture four of seven

View of Chandra on a supernova remnant known as + 1.eight, which comprises an unusually excessive quantity of oxygen.

(Picture credit score: NASA / CXC / SAO)

Image 5 of seven

Abell 2146 is an enormous construction that fashioned through the collision of two galaxy clusters. Chandra knowledge is displayed in blue on Hubble knowledge.

(Picture credit score: X-rays: NASA / CXC / College of Waterloo / H. Russell et al., Optics: NASA / STScI)

Picture 6 of seven

A composite view of the middle of the Milky Manner exhibits Chandra's knowledge in inexperienced and blue. The pink knowledge was collected by the MeerKAT telescope situated in South Africa.

(Picture credit score: X-Ray: NASA / CXC / UMass / Wang D. et al., Radio: NRF / SARAO / MeerKAT)

Picture 7 of seven

This large star formation area situated close to the Milky Manner, known as Doradus, is nicknamed the Tarantula Nebula. The info behind this picture was collected throughout 24 days of remark over two years.

(Picture credit score: NASA / CXC / Penn State College / Townsley et al.)

Chandra's mission has developed with our understanding of house. At its launch twenty years in the past, solely a handful of exoplanets had been recognized. Right this moment, Chandra repeatedly evaluations how star radiation impacts planets in orbit. Gravitational waves (large ripples in space-time) had been solely concept in 1999, however Chandra now observes the results of black gap mergers and different occasions that produce them.

The telescope can also be engaged in observations that haven’t but taken place, just like the examine of darkish vitality, a poorly understood phenomenon, which might represent an excellent a part of our universe.

Chandra's concept dates again greater than 40 years, based on the preliminary proposal of Riccardo Giacconi and Harvey Tananbaum in 1976. Giacconi acquired the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics due to his contribution to X-ray astronomy. Tananbaum was the primary director of the Chandra X-Ray Heart, which operates the instrument.

The telescope is working properly right now after overcoming a gyro downside by the tip of 2018. It’s anticipated to proceed operations for at the least 2024 hours, with the potential for two contract choices of three years in a row.

Comply with Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.

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