NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

via NASA

On July 23, 1999, the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In the two decades that have passed, Chandra’s powerful and unique X-ray eyes have contributed to a revolution in our understanding of the cosmos.

“In this year of exceptional anniversaries – 50 years after Apollo 11 and 100 years after the solar eclipse that proved Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity – we should not lose sight of one more,” said Paul Hertz, Director of Astrophysics at NASA. “Chandra was launched 20 years ago, and it continues to deliver amazing science discoveries year after year.”

To commemorate Chandra’s 20th anniversary of science operations, NASA has released new images representing the breadth of Chandra’s exploration, demonstrating the variety of objects it studies as well as how X-rays complement the data collected in other types of light. From the colossal grandeur of a galaxy cluster to the light from infant stars, these new images are a sample of Chandra’s spectacular X-ray vision.

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