What is Chandra X-ray Observatory?

Chandra Overview

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is a fragment or part of NASA’s fleet of “Great Observatories” along with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the deorbited Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Chandra lets scientists from around the world to acquire X-ray images of mysterious milieus to help comprehend the structure and evolution of the universe. The Chandra X-ray Observatory program is organized by NASA’s Marshall Center for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, Mass., is in charge for the carrying out of the day-to-day flight maneuvers and science events from the Operations Control Center and Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) facilities. The CXC Web site is the principal source for information on the Chanda X-ray Observatory mission.

Chandra X-ray Observatory
Image source Wikipedia

Chandra X-ray Astronomy

The “X-ray universe” denotes the cosmos as noticed with telescopes designed to spot X-rays. X-rays are formed in the universe when the matter is heated to millions of degrees. Such temperatures occur where high magnetic fields, life-threatening gravity, or explosive or volatile forces, hold sway.

A massive cloud of hot gas in a bunch of galaxies can be numerous million light-years across and comprise sufficient matter to make hundreds of trillions of stars. X-ray telescopes can also dash the hot gas from a blasting star or detect X-rays from matter whirling as near as 90 kilometers from the event horizon of a planetary or stellar black hole.

When electric or charged particles crash — or experience abrupt changes in their motion — they yield bundles of energy called photons that glide away from the scene of the coincidence at the speed of light. In fact, they are light, or electromagnetic radiation, to employ methodological terms. As electrons are the lightest recognized charged particle, they are most squirmy, so they are accountable for most of the photons formed in the universe.

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched by Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999, can well outline the hot, tempestuous regions of space. This augmented lucidity can aid scientists to answer central questions about the origin, evolution, and intention of the universe.

Mission Overview

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope specially intended to detect X-ray emanation from very hot areas of the Universe such as detonated stars, gatherings of galaxies, and substances around black holes. Because X-rays are engrossed by Earth’s atmosphere, Chandra must track above it, up to an elevation of 139,000 km (86,500 mi) in space. The Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge hosts the Chandra X-ray Center which runs the satellite, processes the data, and allocates it to scientists around the world for investigation.

Significance to Astrobiology

Chandra is designed to perceive X-rays from high-energy regions of the cosmos, such as the leftovers of blasted stars. Chandra’s sensitivity makes probable thorough studies of black holes, supernovas, and dark matter; and has augmented our understanding of the evolution, origin, and destiny of the Universe. Chandra delivers astrobiologists with information about stars and the circumstances in which planetary systems formulate. The mission offers perception into the rudimentary structure of the Universe and the dispersal of radiation that could play a part in the habitableness of planets.

NASA Astrobiology Participation

Data from Chandra advises several studies buoyed by the NASA Astrobiology Program. This data is utilized in models that assist researchers in better recognizing the Universe and the circumstances in which planetary systems form and progress. Scientific consequences from Chandra are assisting exoplanet researchers to realize the types of systems that could back up livable planets.

On October 19th, Chandra will link with telescopes found in trajectory around Earth across the world, and even on and around Mars, as Comet Siding Spring makes a tremendously close approach to the Red Planet.

This is an enormously exhilarating event because scientists have resolute this comet has been traveling for maybe a million years from the aloof Oort Cloud. This will be the first time that humans have ever taken images of a comet from the Oort Cloud, which is a massive reservoir of leftover wreckage from the formation of the Solar System. (Previous investigations and spacecraft visits of comets came from those that originated in the much mear Kuiper Belt.)

As Comet Siding Spring progresses toward Mars, it will be shifting enormously fast since it is going in the contradictory direction from the Red Planet in its orbit. It will also come unbelievably near to Mars. At its closest point, the comet’s remoteness will be equal to only a third of the way between Earth and the Moon.

The passageway will be so near that Mars will be in the exterior atmosphere, or coma, of the comet. Gas molecules and dust elements in this coma could interrelate with the Martian atmosphere and circumnavigating spacecraft, and if sufficiently large could even make it down to the surface of the planet.

Extension of the upper Martian atmosphere should upsurge its cross-section to the solar wind, and thus its capability to discharge X-rays as Martian atmosphere gas molecules charge exchange with intensely-charged solar wind ions. Scientists will be observing Mars with Chandra, looking for just such an upsurge, from 4 hours before a nearby approach to 11 hours after. Scientists will also be employing Chandra to view the comet from 4 hours before to 6 hours after the nearest approach to hunt for its own interface with the solar wind and any changes instigated by its crisscrossing the near-Mars solar wind structure and having Mars transported through its external coma.

Scientists identify that both objects emanate X-rays, so they assume to observe a small Chandra signal from each in the 11 hours (54,000 seconds) of investigation time. Any intensification in these signals due to the comets’ close flyby should communicate to us something about their contact or interaction. In a cross-platform synchronized program, the researchers will also be utilizing the Hubble Space Telescope to discover the Martian aurora or the first light of the day, a measure of the planet’s exospheric irritation or excitement, as well as the comet’s gas output rate, which repels both its X-ray production and its mass/energy input into the Martian ambiance. Researchers assume it will take a few days at least to process and examine the Chandra data after it is attained on October 19th.

Oct. 9, 2014: NASA’s wide-ranging fleet or group of science assets, predominantly those circumnavigating and rambling Mars, have front-row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flypast or flyby on Sunday, Oct. 19.

Comet C/2013 A1, also called comet Siding Spring, will go through within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet — less than half the outstrip or distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any recognized comet flyby of Earth.

Siding Spring’s nucleus will come nearest to Mars around 2:27 p.m. EDT, thrusting at about 126,000 mph (56 kilometers per second). This propinquity will provide an unheard-of possibility for researchers to conglomerate data on both the comet and its impact on the Martian atmosphere.

This is a big science gift that could possibly keep on giving, and the agency’s different science missions will be in full pick-up mode, said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. This specific comet has never before got into the inner solar system, so it will furnish a fresh source of hints to our solar system’s most former days.

Siding Spring arrived from the Oort Cloud, a globe-shaped area of space beleaguering our sun and invading space at a distance between 5,000 and 100,000 astronomical units.  It is a behemoth horde of icy objects conceived to be material left over from the shaping of the solar system.

Siding Spring will be the first comet from the Oort Cloud to be analyzed up close by spacecraft, giving scientists a priceless chance to find out more about the materials, letting in water and carbon compounds, that subsisted during the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Some of the most beneficial and exposing images and science data will come from assets revolving and roaming the surface of Mars. In formulation for the comet flyby, NASA guided its Mars Odyssey orbiter, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and the youngest member of the Mars fleet, Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), to cut down the risk of effects with high-velocity dust corpuscles breaking away from the comet.

The period of greatest risk to circumnavigating spacecraft will start about 90 minutes after the nearest access of the comet’s nucleus and will continue about 20 minutes when Mars will come nearest to the focus of the broadening trail of dust fleeing from the comet’s nucleus.

“The jeopardy is not a touch on of the comet nucleus itself, but the trail of wreckages arriving from it. Using restraints furnished by Earth-based reflections, the modeling results show that the risk is not as great as first expected. Mars will be right at the butt of the rubble cloud, so it might bump some of the particles — or it might not,” alleged Rich Zurek, chief scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.

The ambiance of Mars, though much dilutant than Earth’s, will safeguard NASA Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity from comet dust if any spreads the planet. Both rovers are planned to make watchings of the comet.

NASA’s Mars orbiters will assemble data before, during, and after the flyby about the size, revolution, and activity of the comet’s nucleus, the variableness and gas constitution of the coma around the nucleus, and the size and dispersion of dust corpuscles in the comet’s tail.

Observations of the Martian environment are planned to ascertain potential meteor trails, changes in the dispersion of neutral and charged particles, and impacts of the comet on air temperature and clouds. MAVEN will have a mainly good chance to examine the comet, and how its fragile atmosphere, or coma, acts with Mars’ upper atmosphere.

Earth-based and space telescopes, involving NASA’s well-admired Hubble Space Telescope, also will be in a position to discover the unparalleled ethereal object. The agency’s astrophysics space observatories — Kepler, Swift, Spitzer, Chandra — and the ground-established Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii — also will be tagging the event.

NASA’s asteroid huntsman, the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), has been picturing and will go along to image, the comet as part of its procedures. And the agency’s two Heliophysics spacecraft, Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) and Solar and Heliophysics Observatory (SOHO), too will envision the comet. The agency’s Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science (BOPPS), a sub-orbital balloon-conveyed telescope, already has furnished reflections of the comet out front to the near confrontation with Mars.

Chandra planned to discover Mars when it was only 70 million kilometers from Earth, and also about the point in its orbit when it is nearest to the Sun. At the time of the Chandra observance, an immense dust storm evolved on Mars that covered up about one hemisphere, later cutting across the total planet. Mission Overview. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope peculiarly contrived to observe X-ray discharge from very hot regions of the Cosmos such as irrupted stars, clumps of galaxies, and matter around black holes.

The mission lets in a lunar orbiter, a lander called Vikram, and a robotic lunar rover cited Pragyan. The rover was projected to march on six wheels on the lunar surface, conduct on-site qualitative analysis and send out the data to the Earth via the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which will be circumnavigating the Moon.

Scientific fallouts from Chandra are serving exoplanet researchers comprehend the types of systems that could sustenance habitable planets. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s XMM Newton Observatory were utilized to detect a free fall in X-ray strength as the planet HD 189733b passed through its parent star.

In the Chandra image, new details-rings, and jets in the region around the neutron star or pulsar render worthful information for realizing how the pulsar communicates energy to the nebula as a whole. of Chandra’s orbit path.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was set in motion and rolled out by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. Chandra is projected to keep an eye on X-rays from high-energy regions of the cosmos, such as the leftovers of blew-up stars. The two images of the Crab Nebula supernova leftover and its pulsar exemplify how higher resolution can divulge significant new characteristics.

The Observatory has three main parts: (1) the X-ray telescope, whose mirrors concentrate X-rays from ethereal or celestial objects; (2) the science tools which record the X-rays so that X-ray pictures can be brought out and examined; and (3) the spacecraft, which furnishes the environment essential for the telescope and the instruments to figure out.

Chandra’s strange orbit was accomplished after preparation by a built-in propulsion system that promoted the observatory to a high Earth orbit. This orbit, which has the figure of an oval, brings the spacecraft more than a third of the path to the moon before bringing it back to its nearest access to the Earth of 16,000 kilometers (9,942 miles). The time to finish an ambit or orbit is 64 hours and 18 minutes.

The spacecraft passes 85% of its orbit above the belts of charged-up corpuscles that circumvent the Earth. Continuous observances as long as 55 hours are potential and the overall percentage of practicable discovering time is much greater than for the low Earth orbit of a few hundred kilometers employed by a majority of satellites.

Astonishing dedication and exactitude are called for to plan and build up telescopes that will be laid in space where they are operated by remote control in uncongenial environs of furious temperature sways and hard vacuum, after enduring the manipulated fury of launching. The whole process characteristically takes many years and creativeness is necessitated when surprising changes are brought down. The Chandra observatory was first suggested to NASA in 1976 and financial backing began in 1977 when NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center commenced the definition analysis of the telescope.

In 1992, there was a most important restructuring of the observatory. NASA adjudicated that to bring down the cost, the number of mirrors would be reduced from twelve to eight, and only four of the six scientific instruments would be employed. At this point, the designed orbit was modified from low to high Earth orbit to conserve the scientific potentiality of Chandra.

Teams of engineers, scientists, technicians, and managers who work at several government centers, Universities, and corporations have been structuring and collecting Chandra over the past twenty years. Many of these enthusiastic men and women have been tangled in the project from its commencement.

The Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and is operated by employees from SAO, MIT, and NGST. Dr. Harvey Tananbaum was the Center’s director from the beginning to April 20, 2014. He has been followed as CXC Director by Dr. Belinda J. Wilkes. Science Support is accountable for the mission projecting and science processes. The Operations Control Center guides the flight and accomplishes the discovery plan of the observatory, and obtains the scientific data from the observatory.

Chandra has commenced an investigation of the hot tumultuous regions in space with figures 25 times more penetrative and sharper than previous X-ray images. The instance below illustrates how Chandra can empower astronomers to study the procedure by which jets of matter are evicted from supermassive black holes in the compressed central regions of galaxies.

Chandra’s enhanced sensitiveness can make potential more elaborate studies of black holes, supernovas, and dark matter and enhance our discernment of the origin, development, and fortune or destiny of the universe. Chandra’s oval-shaped orbit takes the spacecraft to an elevation of roughly 139,000 km (86,500 mi) — more than a third of the distance to the Moon.

Functioning in space since 1999, Chandra discovers and images X-ray sources that dwell within our Solar System to those billions of light years away. The leads from Chandra assist discover high-energy developments and allow for perceptivities into the Universe’s evolution and structure.

Ten Striking Facts About Chandra

It should be noted that Chandra aviates 200 times higher than Hubble – more than 1/3 of the path to the moon!

It is worth mentioning that Chandra can detect X-rays from clouds of gas so huge that it takes light five million years to depart from one side to the other!

During maneuvers or tactics from one target to the next, Chandra slides more tardily than the minute hand on a clock.

Being 45 feet long, Chandra is the biggest satellite the shuttle has ever set in motion.

If Colorado were as unruffled or smooth as Chandra’s mirrors, Pikes Peak would be less than one inch tall!

Chandra’s resolution is tantamount to the power to read a stop sign at a distance of twelve miles.

The electrical power necessitated to run the Chandra spacecraft and instruments is 2 kilowatts, around the same power as a hair dryer.

The illumination or light from some of the quasars discovered by Chandra will have been moving around through space for ten billion years.

STS-93, the space mission that rolled out Chandra, was the first NASA shuttle mission controlled by a woman.

Chandra can detect X-rays from corpuscles up to the final second before they tumble into a black hole!

NASA’s premier X-ray observatory was referred the Chandra X-ray Observatory in laurels of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Known to the world as Chandra (which implies “moon” or “luminous” in the Sanskrit language), he was generally looked upon as one of the first off astrophysicists of the twentieth century.

Chandra migrated in 1937 from India to the United States, where he linked up with the faculty of the University of Chicago, a position he stayed at until his demise. He and his wife turned out to become American citizens in 1953.

The Chandra X-ray Center represents NASA’s intention to enhance the effectiveness of its space programs by inspiring expert teams from outside of NASA to accept expanded obligations. In 1991 NASA signed up with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to lay down the AXAF Science Center (ASC) to back up the evolution and functioning of the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), later on, renamed the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Ab initio covering the areas of user support and science operations (including mission instrument calibration, planning, and data processing), the ASC’s obligations were later elaborated to let in flight operations and communicating with the public. When the observatory’s name was converted from AXAF to Chandra, the ASC was named the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC). The CXC involves engineers, scientists, and technicians from SAO, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Northrop Grumman Corporation. These organizations, which were straightly complicated in the blueprint, construction, and trying out of the Chandra spacecraft and its scientific instruments, have all-inclusive know-how of the Chandra observatory.

Mission Milestones

August 19, 1999 – Chandra’s official first light image was registered by the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS).

August 12, 1999 – The Sunshade door opens permitting X-ray to come in the telescope for the first time.

August 7, 1999 – Chandra reaches its projected operational orbit.

July 23, 1999 – Shuttle Columbia was set in motion and the Chandra X-ray Observatory efficaciously and successfully rolled out.

June 27, 1999 – Chandra was transported into Columbia’s payload bay.

June 16, 1999 – Chandra and IUS-27 booster effectively complete the Payload Readiness Review.

June 8, 1999 – Launch projected for no earlier than July 20. Thorough or end-to-end test on Chandra/IUS successful

June 1, 1999 – Inertial Upper Stage-27 extradited to the

April 27, 1999 – NASA determined to put off coupling Chandra with its IUS booster.

March 17, 1999 – A full state-of-health test was effectively accomplished at KSC.

February 4, 1999 – TRW* transports NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to KSC

February 2, 1999 – NASA resolves to go along with the consignment of Chandra TRW* to KSC, on Thurs, Feb. 4, 1999

January 20, 1999 – NASA holds up the shipment of the Chandra X-ray Observatory from TRW* to KSCplus

January 14, 1999 – TRW* brings out the accomplished Chandra X-ray Observatoryplus

December 21, 1998 – The Chandra X-ray Observatory to be embarked to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, on or before Jan. 28.

October 13, 1998 – NASA adjourns shipment of AXAF from TRW* to Kennedy Space Center

July 7, 1998 – AXAF successfully finishes its thermal vacuum test

March 12, 1998 – Assembly of AXAF is finalized at TRW*!

February 13, 1998 – NASA contrives a 3 December launch of AXAF

November 1997 – TRW* goes through delays in the assembly and testing of AXAF.

June – October 1997 – The Mirror Assembly is transported to TRW*.

March-May 1997 – The testing of the Scientific Instruments is finished

December 1996 – March 1997AXAF support team at Marshall Space Flight Center finalizes a series of demanding tests of the X-ray Mirror Assembly

February – December 1996 – The glazed mirrors are shipped to Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York, where they are assembled

July 1995 – February 1996 – The coating of the mirrors with iridium is effectively completed.

December 1991 – July 1995 – The crunching and brushing up of the grazing-incidence mirrors are completed.

Telescope System Mirrors look more like barrels.

The Chandra telescope system comprises four pairs of mirrors and their backup structure.

X-ray telescopes should be really contrastive from optical telescopes. Owing to their high-energy, X-ray photons infiltrate a mirror in much the same way that bullets bang into a wall. Similarly, just as bullets rebound when they hit a wall at a creasing angle, so too will x-ray recoil off mirrors.

The mirrors have to be delicately forged and adjusted nearly parallel to incoming X-rays. As such, they appear to be more like glass barrels than the accustomed dish shape of optical telescopes.

Conceive of making the surface of the Earth so bland or smooth that the highest mountain was less than two meters (78 inches) in height! On a much smaller scale, the engineers and scientists at Raytheon Optical Systems in Danbury, Connecticut carried out a corresponding exploit when they polished up and ground the four pairs of Chandra mirrors to the suavity of a few atoms.

Not to be outflanked, the engineers and scientists at Optical Coating Laboratories, Inc., in Santa Rosa, California also outstripped anticipations. After the mirrors cautiously proceeded to California via an air-ride moving van, they were fastidiously cleaned–to the tantamount of at most one dot of dust on an area the size of your computer screen. Then they were covered with the exceedingly reflective rare metal, iridium.

The successful crushing, shining, and varnishing of the Chandra mirrors were momentous technical events. They are the flattest and cleanest mirrors ever created.

The mirrors were locomoted again across the country–same moving van, same husband/wife driving team, and three back up vehicles–to Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York, where they were put together into a support structure known as the high-resolution mirror assembly and adjusted with recherché exactitude. The conjunction of the mirrors from one end of the mirror assembly to the other (2.7 meters or 9 feet) is precise to 1.3 micrometers (50 millionths of an inch) or about one-fiftieth the breadth of a human hair! The thriving culmination of the high-resolution mirror assembly at Eastman Kodak in September 1996, was one of the foremost achievements in the development of Chandra.

Engr Fahad

My name is Shahzada Fahad and I am an Electrical Engineer. I have been doing Job in UAE as a site engineer in an Electrical Construction Company. Currently, I am running my own YouTube channel "Electronic Clinic", and managing this Website. My Hobbies are * Watching Movies * Music * Martial Arts * Photography * Travelling * Make Sketches and so on...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button