Thursday, May 19, 2005

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Hi there, I am in dire need of a break again. I am making a real effort to watch my posture while I am getting through all this transcription and to stretch throughout the day. It is working, that is, I don't feel so stiff, but my eyes are getting sore.

Anyway... I thought I would share with you 10 facts that I discovered about the Chandra Observatory on the website:

  • Chandra flies 200 times higher than Hubble - more than 1/3 of the way to the moon!
  • Chandra can observe X-rays from clouds of gas so vast that it takes light five million years to go from one side to the other!
  • During maneuvers from one target to the next, Chandra slews more slowly than the minute hand on a clock.
  • At 45 feet long, Chandra is the largest satellite the shuttle has ever launched!
  • If Colorado were as smooth as Chandra's mirrors, Pikes Peak would be less than one inch tall!
  • Chandra's resolving power is equivalent to the ability to read a stop sign at a distance of twelve miles.
  • The electrical power required to operate the Chandra spacecraft and instruments is 2 kilowatts, about the same power as a hair dryer.
  • The light from some of the quasars observed by Chandra will have been traveling through space for ten billion years.
  • STS-93, the space mission that deployed Chandra, was the first NASA shuttle mission commanded by a woman.
  • Chandra can observe X-rays from particles up to the last second before they fall into a black hole!!!

Also, if you want to know where Chandra is right now, the website updates the current location every minute. So cool!

So there you have it, probably more than you wanted to know. But I find it fascinating.

Time to stretch and get back to it. Stay well!

~ Ciao ~


JB said...

Thank you for all the mind-blowing facts! One thing I'm very interested in (and you must know, if you read my last post, that I have many, many interests, is astronomy.

How awesome is it that we are conducting this kind of research, that we can peer into the very distant past--I think it's amazing.

I'm reading Bill Bryson's "The History of Nearly Everything" right now and he gives a great account of what a terrifically huge place (space?) the universe is. It boggles the mind.

I also love that the site allows you to see where the satellite is at this very minute. It is, as you put it, totally cool!

By the way, thank you for the personality test, too. I took it and posted the results on my blog.

librarychik said...

I am totally fascinated by space, the universe, call it what you will. I am very interested in reading the author you mentioned. I will check the library.

I was reading some of your previous posts and you certainly have a brilliant style of presenting an argument! I will keep watching and reading!