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Astrophysics Colloquium

The X-ray Sky in High Definition: Twenty Years of Science with the Chandra X-ray Observatory
Presented by Patrick Slane
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Thursday, November 7, 2019
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

Abstract
X-ray astronomy is a product of the space age. Possible only from viewing platforms above the atmosphere, the first celestial X-ray source other than the Sun was discovered less than sixty years ago. Following fresh on the heels of this discovery, with X-ray astronomy just barely in its infancy, an almost unimaginably-bold proposal was put forth to build a visionary space-borne observatory based on X-ray optics whose resolution and sheer size represented leaps by orders of magnitude over any such mirrors ever built. Following a series of smaller, but ever-improving X-ray observatories, this vision was fully realized in July of 1999 with the launch and deployment of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

As we mark the completion of its second decade of observations, in which breakthrough science has been carried out on objects ranging from nearby planets to distant quasars, I will look back on the development of Chandra and provide a summary of some of the most exciting results from its ever-increasing scientific legacy. These include breakthrough discoveries on the births and deaths of stars, the activity of black holes, and the structure of galaxy clusters.

JPL Contact: Daniel Stern


SVCP Astrophysics


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